Test Your Knowledge: Rhabdomyolysis
January 4, 2021


Posted by Andy Jagoda MD in: Brain Tease , trackback

Rhabdomyolysis is a life-threatening pathological process that must be treated as early as possible to avoid potentially life-threatening sequelae. Much of the evidence that informs the management of rhabdomyolysis is retrospective research, often reported from mass disasters, and many practices that have been implemented as standard treatment are based on small studies published more than 30 years ago.

Our recent issue Rhabdomyolysis: Evidence-Based Management in the Emergency Department reviews the current literature on rhabdomyolysis and provides recommendations for each phase of care, from the prehospital setting through disposition.

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Here are a few key points:

  • There is no consensus on the single most commoncause of rhabdomyolysis in adults, but studies havefound that drugs, alcohol, coma, toxins, and arterialocclusions are among the common causes.The leading cause of rhabdomyolysis in childrenaged ≤ 9 years is viral myositis.
  • The signs and symptoms that are typically reportedin rhabdomyolysis include muscle pain, weakness,and dark urine, though all 3 are rarely seen together.Fever is a common complaint in the pediatric popu-lation; a study found that it was present in 68% ofchildren with rhabdomyolysis.
  • The gold standard for the diagnosis of rhabdomyolysis is an elevated creatine kinase (CK) level.

Read the full issue and earn 4 CME credits!

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