Home > Health A – Z > Rhabdomyolysis


Rhabdomyolysis is a condition in which damaged skeletal muscle tissue breaks down rapidly. Breakdown products of damaged muscle cells are released into the bloodstream. Some of these, such as the protein myoglobin, are harmful to the kidneys and may lead to kidney failure. Wikipedia

About Rhabdomyolysis

Rhabdomyolysis is an extremely rare but serious side effect where muscle tissue gradually breaks down in certain muscles. This can lead to permanent paralysis, and the breakdown products can cause serious kidney damage.

In studies, rhabdomyolysis was found to occur in 1 out of 10,000 people who took statins for longer periods of time.

Signs of this side effect include muscle ache and dark-colored urine, so it is important to seek medical advice if you have these symptoms. Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG)

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Utility of urine myoglobin for the prediction of acute renal failure in patients with suspected rhabdomyolysis: a systematic review

This review concluded that there was inadequate evidence to evaluate use of urine myoglobin as a predictor of acute renal failure in patients with suspected rhabdomyolysis. There were limitations in the review and included studies, but the overall conclusion reflected the evidence presented.

Statin-induced rhabdomyolysis: a comprehensive review of case reports

PURPOSE: To identify case reports of statin-induced rhabdomyolysis and summarize common predisposing factors, symptoms, diagnostic findings, functional outcomes, characteristics, treatment, and rehabilitation.

Rhabdomyolysis in bariatric surgery: a systematic review

BACKGROUND: Rhabdomyolysis (RML) is a rare complication of bariatric surgery. A systematic review was performed to identify risk factors and patient outcomes in morbidly obese patients undergoing bariatric surgery who develop RML.

See all (47)

Summaries for consumers

Is continuous renal replacement therapy beneficial for people with rhabdomyolysis?

Rhabdomyolysis is a potentially life‐threatening condition where damaged muscle tissue breaks down quickly, and products of damaged muscle cells are released into the bloodstream. Of these products, a protein called myoglobin is harmful to kidney health and can lead to acute kidney injury. There is some evidence to suggest that continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) may provide benefits for people with rhabdomyolysis.

Medication for the treatment of high cholesterol levels

High cholesterol levels could mean an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Certain medications that reduce cholesterol levels can prevent related health problems and increase life expectancy. Whether or not it is worth taking these medications will depend on what other risk factors you have.If the risk of cardiovascular disease cannot be reduced enough through general measures, treatment with medication can be considered. Whether or not it is worth taking medication will vary from person to person, depending on what other risk factors for cardiovascular disease they have and how important the advantages and disadvantages are to them.People’s individual approach to health will play a role too. If someone has unfavorable cholesterol levels but they do not have any other risk factors, or only a few, then they might prefer not to take medication. People who have several other risk factors might be more concerned so they might be more willing to take medication.When deciding whether or not to have a certain treatment, it can help to know what advantages and disadvantages the treatment has. Various groups of drugs can reduce cholesterol levels. But only one group of drugs, known as statins, has been well studied for the treatment of people who have never had a heart attack, stroke or other type of cardiovascular disease. Statins lower the risk of vascular disease by about 20% in these people. The health impact of this risk reduction will vary from person to person, though, mostly depending on their individual risk of cardiovascular disease. A doctor can help you determine your personal risk.Aready having cardiovascular poblems such as coronary artery disease is one major factor. If that is the case, it greatly increases the risk of heart attack or stroke. Medication can be used to reduce this risk very effectively.

Single‐dose oral celecoxib for postoperative pain

Acute pain is often felt soon after injury. Most people who have surgery have moderate or severe pain afterwards. People with pain are used to test pain killers. They have often had wisdom teeth removed. The pain is often treated with pain killers given by mouth. Results can then be applied to other forms of acute pain.

See all (9)

More about Rhabdomyolysis

Photo of an adult

See Also: Kidney

Other terms to know:

Keep up with systematic reviews on Rhabdomyolysis:


PubMed Health Blog...

read all...