Siamak N. 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.
In this Article
- Rhabdomyolysis facts
- 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?
What causes rhabdomyolysis?
Rhabdomyolysis has many causes. Some of the common ones include:
- Muscle trauma or crush injury
- Severe burns
- Physical torture or child abuse
- Prolonged lying down on the ground (people who fall or are unconscious and are unable to get up for several hours)
- Prolonged coma
- Severe muscle contractions from prolonged seizures
- Cocaine use with related hyperthermia (increased body temperature)
- Extreme physical activity (running a marathon, extreme workouts)
- Drug and alcohol intoxication
- Low circulating phosphate, potassium, or 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], atorvastatin [Lipitor], pravastatin [Pravachol], or lovastatin [Mevacor]) and other medications such as Parkinson's medication, psychiatric medications, anesthesia medications, HIV medications, colchicine
- Variety of viruses and some bacteria
- 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, dermatomyositis, polymyositis)
- Venom from certain snake bites (mainly in Africa, Asia, and South America)
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