Rhabdomyolysis - Diagnosis

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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 physical examination.

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 rhabdomyolysis.

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 liver damage.

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

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Comment from: ladyvibes, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 28

I was a 25 years old soldier playing football when I felt my thigh muscle started to burn as if someone had peppered my muscles. I collapsed after the match and was taken to the hospital. I could not feel my legs; my whole body was swollen. At the hospital I was asked to pass my urine when I realized that the color of my urine was very dark. I did some blood tests and it showed that my CPK (creatine phosphokinase) level was 11000 at the time.

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