by Rick Alan
Rhabdomyolysis is a group of symptoms. It caused by the breakdown of muscle tissue. Proteins called myoglobin are then released into the blood flow. These proteins can cause severe damage to the kidneys.
The muscle damage may be caused by:
Factors that may increase your chance of muscle damage include:
The most common symptoms include:
Other symptoms include:
In severe cases, rhabdomyolysis may result in:
Anatomy of the Kidney
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You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. The doctor may suspect rhabdo based on symptoms and recent past.
To confirm the diagnosis your may test:
The activity of your muscles and heart may be tested. This can be done with:
Treatment may include:
Large amounts of fluid are the main treatment. The fluids are usually given by IV. This will help to quickly flush the myoglobin out of the kidneys. It can help the kidneys work well again.
Bicarbonate may be used to minimize myoglobin's toxic effects.
To reduce your chance of muscle damage and rhabdomyolysis:
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
National Kidney Foundation
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
Rhabdomyolysis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114269/Rhabdomyolysis . Updated August 31, 2016. Accessed June 13, 2018.
Sauret JM, Marinides G, Wang GK. Rhabdomyolysis. Am Fam Physician. 2002:65(5):907-913.
Torres PA, Helmstetter JA, Kaye AM, Kaye AD. Rhabdomyolysis: Pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment. Ochsner J. 2015;15(1):58-69.
Last reviewed May 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Adrienne Carmack, MD
Last Updated: 6/13/2018