Rhabdomyolysis is a rare condition which results in skeletal muscle damage and leakage of muscle protein myoglobin in the urine that can lead to kidney failure. It is most commonly caused due to muscle injury or trauma.

Rhabdomylosis - causes, symptoms and treatment

The protein fibers myoglobin present in the muscle cells are damaged which causes the leakage of myoglobin into the bloodstream. Myoglobin blocks the tiny tubules in the kidney resulting in kidney damage. It also retains the reduces the body’s blood flow and retains fluid which further damages the kidney. Rhabdomyolysis also affects the skeletal muscle responsible for mobility. Rhabdomyolysis requires immediate medical attention.

Rhabdomyolysis has several underlying causes such as muscle injury or trauma, heatstroke, extreme workouts, marathon runner’s, excessive alcohol consumption, usage of drugs cocaine and heroin and venom bytes.

Certain medications particularly statins cholesterol-lowering medicines have been linked to rhabdomyolysis. Higher dosage of statins increases the risk of rhabdomyolysis. Other medications which may increase the risk for rhabdomyolysis are Parkinson’s, psychiatric medications and steroids.


Intense pain

Muscle aches

Muscle weakness

Dark coloured urine

Diagnosis And Treatment

Previous medical history and a complete physical assessment are done by the doctor to diagnose rhabdomyolysis. Certain blood tests are also suggested by the doctor which include CBC, muscle enzymes, SGOT, SGPT and LDH levels are measured and complete urine analysis are also done to diagnose rhabdomyolysis.

Treatment depends upon identifying the underlying causes for rhabdomyolysis which includes withdrawal of medications, replenishing the electrolytes and treating muscle diseases. Mild cases of rhabdomyolysis can be treated with rehydration and cessation of medications. More severe cases need immediate hospitalization with continuous monitoring and administering IV fluids for immediate hydration which aids in the removal of protein element.