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All about rhabdomyolysis causes of rhabdomyolysis symptoms of rhabdomyolysis treatment for rhabdomyolysis

What is rhabdomyolysis?

Rhabdomyolysis is the breakdown of muscle fibers resulting in the release of muscle fiber contents into the circulation. Some of these are toxic to the kidney and frequenty result in kidney damage. The injury can be from physical damage to the

muscle, but significant cases of rhabdomyolysis are more commonly due to high fever or hyperthermia, metabolic disorders, excessive exertion, convulsions, choreoathetosis, muscle trauma, flow of electric current through the body or anoxia of the muscle (e.g. Bywaters' syndrome, a tourniquet left for several hours, local muscle compression due to comatose states, etc.). Rhabdomyolysis is a potentially life-threatening syndrome resulting from the breakdown of skeletal muscle fibers with leakage of muscle contents into the circulation. The most common causes are crush injury, overexertion, alcohol abuse and certain medicines and toxic substances. Several inherited genetic disorders, such as McArdle's disease and Duchenne's muscular dystrophy, are predisposing factors for the syndrome. Clinical features are often nonspecific, and tea-colored urine is usually the first clue to the presence of rhabdomyolysis. Severe cases of rhabdomyolysis often result in myoglobinuria, a condition where the myoglobin from muscle breakdown spills into the urine, making it dark, or "tea colored" (myoglobin contains iron, like hemoglobin, giving muscles its characteristic red color). This condition can cause serious kidney damage in severe cases. The injured muscle also leaks potassium, leading to hyperkalemia, which may cause fatal disruptions in heart rhythm. In addition, myoglobin is metabolically degraded into potentially toxic substances for the kidneys. Massive skeletal muscle necrosis may further aggravate the situation, by reducing plasma volumes and leading to shock and reduced bloodflow to the kidneys. Treatment for rhabdomyolysis includes, if possible, removing the cause of the muscle cell destruction by stopping any medications that may cause rhabdomyolysis and providing plenty of fluids to help the kidneys remove the buildup of toxins and other chemicals. Other treatment (such as dialysis) may be needed, depending on the severity of rhabdomyolysis.

More information on rhabdomyolysis

What is rhabdomyolysis? - Rhabdomyolysis is the breakdown of muscle fibers resulting in the release of muscle fiber contents into the circulation.
What causes rhabdomyolysis? - Rhabdomyolysis is caused by myotoxicity, circulatory ischemia, hyperpyrexia, long duration muscle rigidity and others.
What're the symptoms of rhabdomyolysis? - Signs and symptoms of rhabdomyolysis include dark, red, or cola colored urine and muscle tenderness, stiffness, aching (myalgia) or weakness.
What's the treatment for rhabdomyolysis? - The treatment of rhabdomyolysis is primarily directed at preserving renal function. Ideal treatment involves early and aggressive hydration.
Bone, joint, & muscle disorders

Topics in bone, joint, and muscle disorders

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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005