Rhabdomyolysis Symptoms: Diagnosis and Treatment for Rhabdomyolysis

Rhabdomyolysis is a condition of destruction and breakdown of the skeletal muscle fibers, in the process it releases the muscle fiber content called myoglobin in the blood which passes through the kidney and excreted out.

Causes of Rhabdomyolysis

  • Severe crush injuries caused in accidents.
  • Third degree and second degree burns.
  • Coma and lying unconsciously for a long duration.
  • Muscle contraction due to status epilepticus.
  • Alcohol and drugs.
  • Low level of electrolytes.
  • Anti cholesterol medicine such as statins, parkinson’s medicines, anesthesia, antiviral medicines of HIV infections.
  • Snake venom.
  • Bacterial and viral infection.
  • Severe exercise.

Symptoms of Rhabdomyolysis

  • Dark Red color of urine or urine similar to cola color.
  • Stiff muscles.
  • Muscle tenderness.
  • Fatigue.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Joint pain.

Rhabdomyolysis is diagnosed by the history and examination. Tests confirming the diagnosis are:

Blood Examination

  • High CPK, SGPT, SGOT, LDH.
  • Positive serum myoglobin test.
  • Positive test for urine myoglobin.
  • Microscopic examination of urine reveals hemoglobin but no RBC’s.
  • Raised serum potassium.

Rhabdomyolysis Treatment

  • Intravenous electrolyte fluid administration is very important to save the kidney from damage due to myoglobin.
  • Some cases may require kidney dialysis.
  • Symptomatic treatment needed in case of hyperkalemia and low level of calcium.
  • Diuretics and sodium bicarbonate may be necessary.

Prognosis depends on the percentage of kidney damage. If treated early and rigorously the outcome is good.

After a rigorous workout and exercise, drink plenty of water to flush out the myoglobin from the kidney.

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