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J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 1992;30(3):443-54.

Rhabdomyolysis and acute renal failure following carbon monoxide poisoning: two case reports with muscle histopathology and enzyme activities.

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West Midlands Poisons Unit, Dudley Road Hospital, Birmingham, United Kingdom.


Two patients with carbon monoxide poisoning are presented, both of whom suffered rhabdomyolysis complicated by acute renal failure. One patient, an attempted suicide, developed a compartment syndrome of the right thigh that required fasciotomy and recovered after a period of hemofiltration and hemodialysis. Muscle biopsy appearances were consistent with partial muscle infarction. The other patient, rescued from a smoke filled room, exhibited raised creatine kinase but no evidence of muscle swelling. He developed anuric renal failure and adult respiratory distress syndrome and died despite maximum intensive care. Muscle biopsy showed early evidence of muscle necrosis. In both cases there was a marked reduction of enzyme activities in the muscle biopsy consistent with metabolic derangement. Although there was a clinical compartment syndrome in the first case, there was no muscle swelling at the time of biopsy or subsequently in the second case. A direct toxic effect of carbon monoxide may thus have been an important mechanism contributing to the muscle necrosis in the second case, although local ischemia may have been an exacerbating factor in the first case.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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