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Ren Fail. 1997 Mar;19(2):283-8.

Prophylaxis of acute renal failure in patients with rhabdomyolysis.

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  • 1Intensive Care Unit, Hospital Municipal Artur Ribeiro de Saboya, São Paulo, Brazil.


Patients that develop rhabdomyolysis of different causes are at high risk of acute renal failure. Efforts to minimize this risk include volume repletion, treatment with mannitol, and urinary alkalinization as soon as possible after muscle injury. This is a retrospective analysis (from January 1, 1992, to December 31, 1995) of therapeutic response to prophylactic treatment in patients with rhabdomyolysis admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU). The diagnosis of rhabdomyolysis was based on creatinine kinase (CK) level (> 500 Ui/L) and the criteria for prophylaxis were: time elapsed between muscle injury to ICU admission < 48 h and serum creatinine < 3 mg/dL. Fifteen patients were treated with the association of saline, mannitol, and sodium bicarbonate (S + M + B group) and 9 patients received only saline (S group). Serum creatinine at admission was similar in both groups: 1.6 +/- 0.6 mg/dL in the S + M + B group and 1.5 +/- 0.6 mg/dL in the S group (p > 0.05). Maximum serum CK measured was 3351 +/- 1693 IU/L in the S + M + B group and 1747 +/- 2345 IU/L in the S group (p < 0.05). However the measurement of CK was earlier in S + M + B patients (1.7 vs 2.7 days after rhabdomyolysis). APACHE II scores were 16.9 +/- 7.4 and 13.4 +/- 4.9 in the S + M + MB and S groups, respectively (p > 0.05). Despite the treatment protocol the serum levels of creatinine had similar behavior and reached normal levels in all patients in 2 or 3 days. The saline infusion during the first 60 h on the ICU was 206 mL/h in the S group and 204 mL/h in S + M + B (p > 0.05). Mannitol dose was 56 g/day, and bicarbonate 225 mEq/day during 4.7 days. Our data show that progression to established renal failure can be totally avoided with prophylactic treatment, and that once appropriate saline expansion is provided, the association of mannitol and bicarbonate seems to be unnecessary.

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