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Overview / Our Services

In 1975 the last death in the Ottawa area, known to be due to Malignant Hyperthermia, occurred here at the Civic Campus of the Ottawa Hospital (then called Ottawa Civic Hospital). Following her involvement in this case, Dr. Vivyan Morton, an anesthetist, became determined to set up facilities here in Ottawa to diagnose this condition. After working with Dr. Beverly Britt in the MH Unit in Toronto, Dr. Morton established the MH Investigations Unit.

Patient consultations started in August 1977. Since this date, several anaesthesiologists have served as Directors: Dr. Wayne Lambert, Dr. Charles Cattran, Dr. Greg Allen, Dr. Gordon Reid, Dr. Kevin Nolan and presently, Dr. Ilia Charapov.

The Malignant Hyperthermia Investigations Unit is still located at The Ottawa Hospital, Civic Campus. The work of the unit includes both in-patient and outpatient consultations (received via mail , email, phone or personal encounters). The work encompasses screening all referrals from patients and their families, doctors, dentists. On carefully selected patients, we perform diagnostic testing of muscle using the Caffeine Halothane Contracture Test. (CHCT). The testing procedure method conforms to the standards established in 1987 by the North American Group.

We work in close association with other centres in North America involved with MH. In the past there were 22 biopsy centres-now there are 4 in the United States and two here in Canada.

We are affiliated with the Malignant Hyperthermia Association of the United States and the MH Hotline Consultants. Our unit is a member of the North American Malignant Hyperthermia Registry.

Genetic testing has been developing for MH over the past 19 years especially involving the ryanodine receptor and RYR1 sequencing. For selected individuals we arrange for genetic assessment using laboratories developed in Wisconsin (Prevention Genetics) or at the University Health Network in Toronto. At the present time genetic testing cannot replace the diagnostic testing of muscle using the Caffeine Halothane Contracture Test. The genetic testing available at this time does not identify all mutations responsible for MH.

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Our Team / Contact Us

Director – Dr. Ilia Charapov icharapov@toh.ca

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