Rhabdomyolysis Symptoms

Causation And Identification Of The Condition

By: - Health & Fitness - July 19, 2011
rhabdomyolysis symptoms causation and identification of the condition

Rhabdomyolysis is the result of damage to the skeletal muscle. The condition is the result of muscle fibers breaking down and having their contents enter the bloodstream. If not treated quickly, rhabdomyolysis symptoms could cause a variety of issues. Possibilities include renal failure and, potentially, death. However, treating the condition promptly and effectively make these possibilities considerably less likely. Symptoms of rhabomyolysis include darkened urine color, general malaise, nausea or vomiting, difficulty moving arms and legs or muscle weakness, and tender, bruised or swollen areas of the body.

What Causes Rhabdomyolysis?

One cause of rhabdomyolyisis symptoms include medications like statins (used to treat cholesterol) and corticosteroids. People can also develop the condition from illegal drug use or extensive alcohol use, from a crushing injury, or from extreme muscle strain. Additionally, excess muscle compression can bring on the problem. These are not the only ways in which symptoms of rhabdomyolysis can develop.  Other possible reasons for these symptoms to arise are that someone has experienced an electrical shock injury, a very high temperature, seizures, muscle disease (myopathy), a viral infection, sepsis or a previous history of rhabdomyolysis.


●     Patient History

The doctor will ask a patient about his or her history when beginning an examination. If that person has experienced rhabdomyolisis before, then the likelihood of it occurring is increased. Therefore, it is important to mention any history of the condition for the person or a family member

●     Physical Examination

A physical examination might include checking for muscle injury, checking for heart rhythm disturbances and figuring out whether there is any kidney failure.

●     Bloodwork

Bloodwork to identify symptoms of rhabdomyolyis will likely include a complete blood count (CBC) and clotting factor. It will also check electrolytes and kidney function. Kidney function will be determined by seeing the levels of Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) and Creatinine. Levels of creatinine phosphokinase (CPK), a chemical found within the muscle that leaks into the bloodstream as the result of a breakdown in muscle fibers, will also be determined.


Once rhabdomyolysis symptoms have been identified, a apatient will need to be admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). While being cared for, they will receive intravenous (IV) fluids. Depending on the kidney function, it may be necessary to filter waste through dialysis. In extreme cases, a fasciotomy will be required. A fasciotomy is a surgical procedure that relieves pressure and tension from the nerve in order to prevent loss of circulation.

This condition has a variety of possible reasons for affecting people. Some of them are statins, particularly in combination with certain other drugs, a crushing fall like an auto accident and extensive use of alcohol or illegal drugs. Symptoms can include muscle weakness, bruising or tenderness in areas of the body and nausea or vomiting. Diagnostic procedures include urinalysis, blood work and physical examination. The doctor will also take a patient’s history.