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High risk of rhabdomyolysis and acute kidney injury after traumatic limb compartment syndrome.

PURPOSE: Rhabdomyolysis often occurs after traumatic compartment syndrome, and high morbidity and mortality have been reported with the acute kidney injury that develops subsequently. We focused on the risk factors for rhabdomyolysis and acute kidney injury in patients with traumatic compartment syndrome. We also analyzed the relation between renal function and rhabdomyolysis in these patients.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective chart review was conducted from January 2006 to March 2012. Inpatients with traumatic compartment syndrome were included. We evaluated patients' demographics, history of illicit drugs use or alcohol consumption, mechanism of injury, symptoms, serum creatine kinase levels, and kidney function.

RESULTS: A total of 52 patients with a mean age of 40.9 years were included; 23 patients had rhabdomyolysis (44.2%), of which 9 patients developed acute kidney injury (39.1%). Significant predictive factors for rhabdomyolysis were history of illicit drugs or alcohol use (P=0.039; odds ratio, 5.91) and ischemic injury (P=0.005). We found a moderate correlation between serum creatine kinase levels and serum creatinine levels (R=0.57; P<0.0001). The correlation coefficient (R) between serum creatine kinase levels and the estimated creatinine clearance rate was -0.45. Rhabdomyolysis was a predisposing factor for acute kidney injury (P=0.011; odds ratio, 8.68). Four patients with rhabdomyolysis required a short period of renal replacement therapy.

CONCLUSION: A high percentage of patients with traumatic compartment syndrome developed rhabdomyolysis (44.2%). Patients with rhabdomyolysis had a higher possibility of developing acute kidney injury (39.1%), and rhabdomyolysis was correlated to renal function. Early diagnosis, frequent monitoring, and aggressive treatment are suggested once compartment syndrome is suspected. The overall prognosis is good with early diagnosis and proper treatment.

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