School of Health Sciences
Rhabdomyolysis, Skeletal Muscle, Pathophysiology, Rapid Muscle Breakdown, Complications, Molecular Biology
Amino Acids, Peptides, and Proteins | Biological Factors | Cells | Musculoskeletal Diseases | Musculoskeletal System
Holchin, Jamie, "A Closer Look at Muscle Breakdown: An Overview of the Causes, Complications, and Diagnostics of Rhabdomyolysis" (2020). Senior Honors Theses. 977.
Rhabdomyolysis is the rapid breakdown of myocytes in skeletal muscle. This condition can be triggered by a variety of things including crush injury, drugs, prolonged exercise, and venom. Although the causes can vary, the general pathophysiology of rhabdomyolysis is similar. Increased intracellular calcium ion levels instigate the breakdown of cellular and certain organelle membranes of muscle cells. Reactive oxygen species form, ATP is depleted, and the sarcoplasmic reticulum, which regulates muscle contraction, is also damaged. Necrosis ensues, leading to toxic intracellular components spreading throughout the body. Rhabdomyolysis can then lead to several complications including acute renal injury and heart arrhythmias, and is characterized by dark-colored urine, pain, and weakness. Diagnostic tests for certain chemicals, like myoglobin, help diagnose rhabdomyolysis.