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Cases J. 2009 Jan 5;2(1):7. doi: 10.1186/1757-1626-2-7.

Low-intensity body building exercise induced rhabdomyolysis: a case report.

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Department of Surgery, Transplantation and Advanced Technologies; Vascular Surgery and Organ Transplant Unit, University Hospital of Catania, Via Santa Sofia, 86 95123 Catania, Italy.



Rhabdomyolysis is a severe and debilitating condition that promotes muscle breakdown and is a relatively rare, not always diagnosed cause of acute renal failure (ARF) with an 8-20% reported incidence. Exertional rhabdomyolysis only appears in adult patients 24-48 h after strenuous activities as military basic training, weight lifting, and marathon running.


A 30-year-old man was admitted to our department because of weakness and painful swelling of the muscles as well as dark urine appearing 24 h after carrying out a body-building exercises of low intensity. The development of an acute exertional rhabdomyolysis was confirmed by the increased serum enzyme levels and myoglobinuria. The patient was treated with intravenous sodium chloride, and sodium bicarbonate. The nephrotoxicity of myoglobin was decreased by forced alkaline diuresis.


The reported case emphasizes the occurrence of acute rhabdomyolysis even in those who underwent a low-intensity exercise. A proper treatment is mandatory to avoid a sudden worsening of clinical conditions eventually evolving to acute renal failure.

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