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J Sport Health Sci. 2016 Sep;5(3):324-333. doi: 10.1016/j.jshs.2015.01.012. Epub 2015 Jun 3.

Exercise-induced rhabdomyolysis mechanisms and prevention: A literature review.

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Health and Rehabilitation Major, College of Physical Education, Kookmin University, Seoul 136-702, Republic of Korea.
Department of Physical Education, Global Campus, Kyung Hee University, Suwon 446-701, Republic of Korea.
Division of Sport Science, College of Science and Technology, Konkuk University, Choong-Ju 380-702, Republic of Korea.


Exercise-induced rhabdomyolysis (exRML), a pathophysiological condition of skeletal muscle cell damage that may cause acute renal failure and in some cases death. Increased Ca2+ level in cells along with functional degradation of cell signaling system and cell matrix have been suggested as the major pathological mechanisms associated with exRML. The onset of exRML may be exhibited in athletes as well as in general population. Previous studies have reported that possible causes of exRML were associated with excessive eccentric contractions in high temperature, abnormal electrolytes balance, and nutritional deficiencies possible genetic defects. However, the underlying mechanisms of exRML have not been clearly established among health professionals or sports medicine personnel. Therefore, we reviewed the possible mechanisms and correlated prevention of exRML, while providing useful and practical information for the athlete and general exercising population.


Acute renal failure; Calcium (Ca2+); Creatine kinase; Myoglobin (Mb); Rhabdomyolysis

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