Rhabdomyolysis results from the toxicity of destroyed muscle cells, causing kidney damage or failure. It affects about 1 out of 10,000 people in the United States and has a slightly higher incidence in men. Rhabdomyolysis accounts for 8% to 15% of cases of acute renal failure; about 5% of cases result in death.


Rhabdomyolysis follows direct injury to the muscle fibers, specifically the sarcolemma, which then release myoglobin into the bloodstream. The myoglobin alters filtration in the kidneys, resulting in damage and failure.

Rhabdomyolysis may result from blunt trauma; extensive burn injury; viral, bacterial, or fungal infection (such as legionnaire’s disease or, especially, influenza type A or B); prolonged immobilization; near electrocution or near drowning; metabolic or genetic factors; drug therapy; or toxins. Heavy exercise in children may result in rhabdomyolysis. Other causes include shaken baby syndrome, exposure to extreme cold, heatstroke, and snakebite.

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Jun 16, 2016 | Posted by in GENERAL & FAMILY MEDICINE | Comments Off on Rhabdomyolysis

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