Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Rhabdomyolysis Overview

What is rhabdomyolysis?
A person with rhabdomyolysis has damage to the muscle cells, which release large amounts of myoglobin into the bloodstream. Normally, myoglobin carries oxygen in the muscle cells. When it is present in the bloodstream, myoglobin is toxic to the kidneys. Causes of rhabdomyolysis include severe injuries, drug side effects, dehydration, seizures, burns, and hyperthermia.

What are the symptoms of rhabdomyolysis?
Symptoms of rhabdomyolysis include muscles aches, swelling, and weakness. A change in urine color may result in red urine, pink urine, or brown urine.

How does the doctor treat rhabdomyolysis?
Treatment for rhabdomyolysis includes intravenous fluids and diuretic medications. Treatment for severe rhabdomyolysis may include kidney dialysis.

Continue to Rhabdomyolysis Risk Factors

Last Updated: Oct 7, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Rhabdomyolysis References
  1. Brown CV, Rhee P, Chan L, Evans K, Demetriades D, Velmahos GC. Preventing renal failure in patients with rhabdomyolysis: do bicarbonate and mannitol make a difference? J Trauma. 2004 Jun;56(6):1191-6. [15211124]
  2. Fernandez WG, Hung O, Bruno GR, Galea S, Chiang WK. Factors predictive of acute renal failure and need for hemodialysis among ED patients with rhabdomyolysis. Am J Emerg Med. 2005 Jan;23(1):1-7. [15672329]
  3. Graham DJ, Staffa JA, Shatin D, Andrade SE, Schech SD, La Grenade L, Gurwitz JH, Chan KA, Goodman MJ, Platt R. Incidence of hospitalized rhabdomyolysis in patients treated with lipid-lowering drugs. JAMA. 2004 Dec 1;292(21):2585-90. [15572716]
  4. Malinoski DJ, Slater MS, Mullins RJ. Crush injury and rhabdomyolysis. Crit Care Clin. 2004 Jan;20(1):171-92. [14979336]
  5. Polderman KH. Acute renal failure and rhabdomyolysis. Int J Artif Organs. 2004 Dec;27(12):1030-3. [15645612]
  6. Sochman J, Podzimkova M. Not all statins are alike: induced rhabdomyolysis on changing from one statin to another one. Int J Cardiol. 2005 Mar 10;99(1):145-6. [15721517]
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