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How is rhabdomyolysis diagnosed?
Rhabdomyolysis is suggested by the history of recent and past events and the
physical examination. It is confirmed by blood and urine testing. An important
part of diagnosing rhabdomyolysis is a comprehensive medical history and
The medical history may include questions about any medication
use, drug and alcohol use, other medical conditions, any trauma or accident,
etc. Blood tests include a complete blood count (CBC), a metabolic panel, muscle
enzymes, and urinalysis.
ThThe diagnosis of rhabdomyolysis is confirmed by detecting elevated muscle
enzymes in blood include creatine phosphokinase (CPK), SGOT, SGPT, and LDH . The levels of these enzymes rise as the muscle is destroyed in
While the SGOT, SGPT, and LDH enzymes are found in muscles, they are more frequently associated with the liver. Therefore, elevations of SGOT and SGPT, without elevated CPK, are more typically indications of
Of note, CPK is also in heart muscle (cardiac muscle) and
brain. The laboratory is usually able to distinguish between the different components of
this enzyme. For example, the fraction coming from skeletal muscle is referred
to as CK-MM and the one from heart muscle is designated as CK-MB. There are
small amounts of the CK-MB component in the skeletal muscle as well.
The levels of myoglobin can be elevated in blood and urine