Malignant hyperthermia (MH) is a pharmacogenetic disorder that manifests in susceptible individuals exposed to volatile anaesthetics. Over 400 variants in the ryanodine receptor 1 (RYR1) have been reported but relatively few have been definitively associated with susceptibility to MH. This is largely due to the technical challenges of demonstrating abnormal Ca(2+) release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum. This study focuses on the R2452W variant and its functional characterisation with the aim of classifying this variant as MH causative. HEK293 cells were transiently transfected with full-length human wildtype or R2452W mutant RYR1 cDNA. In addition, B-lymphoblastoid cells from blood and myoblasts propagated from in vitro contracture tests were extracted from patients positive for the R2452W variant. All cell lines generated were loaded with the ratiometric dye Fura-2 AM, stimulated with the RYR1-specific agonist 4-chloro-m-cresol and Ca(2+) release from the sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum was monitored by fluorescence emission. All cells expressing the RYR1 R2452W variant show a significantly higher Ca(2+) release in response to the agonist, 4-chloro-m-cresol, compared to cells expressing RYR1 WT. These results indicate that the R2452W variant results in a hypersensitive ryanodine receptor 1 and suggest that the R2452W variant in the ryanodine receptor 1 is likely to be causative of MH.