Rhabdomyolysis means destruction or disintegration of striated muscle. This syndrome is characterized by muscle breakdown and necrosis resulting in the leakage of the intracellular muscle constituents into the circulation and the extracellular fluid. Rhabdomyolysis ranges from an asymptomatic illness with elevation in the creatine kinase (CK) to a life-threatening condition associated with extreme elevations in CK, electrolyte imbalances, acute renal failure (ARF), and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC).1 The cause of rhabdomyolysis is usually easily identified; however, in some instances, the etiology is elusive. Muscular trauma is the most common cause of rhabdomyolysis. Less common causes include muscle enzyme deficiencies, electrolyte abnormalities, infectious causes, drugs, toxins, and endocrinopathies. Rhabdomyolysis is commonly associated with myoglobinuria, and if this is sufficiently severe, it can result in ARF.
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