General Information

Rhabdomyolysis is the breakdown of muscle tissue and fibers resulting in the release of these fibers into the circulatory system. Some of these fiber contents are toxic and frequently result in kidney damage.

Causes and indications

Myoglobin, an oxygen-binding protein pigment is located in the skeletal muscle. In the event, the skeletal muscle gets damaged, the myoglobin is released into the bloodstream. The kidneys filter out the muscle fibers from the bloodstream. Myoglobin may impede the structures of the kidney, resulting in kidney failure.

Myoglobin breaks down into potentially toxic compounds, which will also cause kidney failure. Dead skeletal muscle tissue may cause massive fluid shifts from the bloodstream into the muscle, lowering the relative fluid volume of the body and leading to shock and reduced blood flow to the kidneys.

The disorder may be caused by conditions related to damage to skeletal muscle, especially trauma.

Risk factors include the following:

•    Severe physical exertion such as marathon running.

•    Ischemia or necrosis of the muscles as may occur with arterial occlusion, deep venous thrombosis or other conditions.
•    Seizures
•    Use or overdose of drugs-especially statin drugs, cocaine, amphetamines, heroin, or PCP
•    Trauma
•    Crush Injuries
•    Shaking chills
•    Heat intolerance
•    Alcholism
•    Low phosphate levels


•    Abnormal urine color
•    Muscle tenderness
•    Weakness of the affected muscles
•    Generalized weakness
•    Muscle stiffness or aching

Additional symptoms that may be associated with this disease include the following:

•    Weight gain
•    Seizures
•    Joint pain
•    Fatigue


Early and aggressive hydration, including perhaps intravenous administration, may prevent complications by quickly eliminating the myoglobin out of the kidneys.

Source: Medline Plus, a service of the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health

E-Commerce powered by UltraCart