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Rhabdomyolysis (cont.)

Rhabdomyolysis Symptoms

The most common symptoms of rhabdomyolysis include:

  1. muscle weakness;
  2. muscle aches; and
  3. dark urine.

The muscle damage causes inflammation leading to tenderness, swelling, and weakness of the affected muscles. The dark urine color is due to myoglobin being excreted in the urine.  Some affected individuals describe this as blood in the urine, but when it is examined under a microscope, no red blood cells are seen.

Symptoms related to the expected complications of rhabdomyolysis include:

  • symptoms of kidney failure, which may include swelling of the hands and feet;
  • decreased urine production;
  • shortness of breath as excess fluid builds up in the lungs;
  • lethargy;
  • weakness;
  • symptoms of hyperkalemia (weakness,nausea,lightheadedness, andpalpitations due to heart rhythm disturbances); and
  • disseminated intravascular coagulation may present as unexplained bleeding (as previously discussed).

In children, renal failure and disseminated intravascular coagulation are less common. The symptoms are primarily muscle aches and weakness.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/10/2014

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