Symptoms and Signs of Rhabdomyolysis

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 4/5/2019

Doctor's Notes on Rhabdomyolysis

Rhabdomyolysis refers to the rapid destruction of skeletal muscle in the body. It leads to the protein myoglobin (from the damaged muscle) leaking into the urine. There are many different causes of rhabdomyolysis. Some causes include physical trauma including muscle crush injuries, prolonged coma, seizures, extreme physical activity, drug and alcohol intoxication, taking certain medications, hypothermia, inflammatory muscle disorders, and certain inherited muscle conditions.

Rhabdomyolysis may not cause any symptoms at all. When symptoms do occur, signs and symptoms associated with rhabdomyolysis include muscle pain, weakness, and stiffness. Another symptom is darkening of the urine due to the presence of the protein myoglobin. Other symptoms may be presented that are related to the underlying cause of the condition.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.