Siamak T. Nabili, MD, MPH
Dr. Nabili received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), majoring in chemistry and biochemistry. He then completed his graduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His graduate training included a specialized fellowship in public health where his research focused on environmental health and health-care delivery and management.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
- What is rhabdomyolysis?
- What causes rhabdomyolysis?
- What are the symptoms of rhabdomyolysis?
- What should I do if I think I have rhabdomyolysis?
- How is rhabdomyolysis diagnosed?
- What are the complications of rhabdomyolysis?
- How is rhabdomyolysis treated?
- What is the prognosis for rhabdomyolysis?
- Rhabdomyolysis At A Glance
- Related rhabdomyolysis article:
Rhabdomyolysis - on eMedicineHealth
- Patient Comments: Rhabdomyolysis - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Rhabdomyolysis - Describe Your Experience
What is rhabdomyolysis?
Rhabdomyolysis (RAB-DOE-MY-O-LIE-SIS) is the rapid destruction of skeletal muscle resulting in leakage into the urine of the muscle protein myoglobin.
There are three different types of muscle in the human body;
The skeletal muscle is the muscle of movement of the body (moving the skeleton at the joints). Skeletal muscle is affected by rhabdomyolysis.
Myoglobin is a protein component of the muscle cells that is released into the blood when the skeletal muscle is destroyed in rhabdomyolysis. Creatine kinase is an enzyme (a protein that facilitates chemical reactions in the body) also in the muscle cells. The level of each of these proteins can be measured in blood to monitor the degree of muscle injury from rhabdomyolysis. Myoglobin can also be measured in samples of urine.
What causes rhabdomyolysis?
Rhabdomyolysis has many causes. Some of the common ones include:
- muscle trauma or crush injury,
- severe burns,
- physical torture or
- prolonged lying down on the ground (people who fall or are
are unable to get up for several hours),
- prolonged coma,
- severe muscle contractions from prolonged
- cocaine use with related
hyperthermia (increased body temperature),
- extreme physical activity (running
- drug and
- low circulating phosphate,
magnesium levels in the blood (electrolytes),
- genetic muscle diseases (familial paroxysmal rhabdomyolysis),
- prolonged drowning or
hypothermia (low core body temperature),
- medications: most notably
statins used to treat high
cholesterol [simvastatin (Zocor),
(Pravachol), or lovastatin (Mevacor)] and other medications such as
Parkinson's medication, psychiatric medications, anesthesia medications,
- variety of viruses and some
- severe hypothyroidism (low thyroid level), especially if the person is also
taking statin drugs for cholesterol,
- lack of blood perfusion to a limb,
- some inflammatory disorders of the muscle, called myopathies, (myositis,
- venom from certain snake bites (mainly in Africa, Asia, and South America).
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