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Rhabdomyolysis, acute kidney injury, and mortality in Ebola virus disease: retrospective analysis of cases from Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2019.

BACKGROUND: Skeletal muscle injury in Ebola virus disease (EVD) has been reported, but its association with morbidity and mortality remains poorly defined.

METHODS: Retrospective study of patients admitted to two EVD Treatment Units, over an eight-month period in 2019, during a large EVD epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

RESULTS: 333 patients (median age 30 years, 58% female) had at least one creatine kinase (CK) measurement (total 2,229 CK measurements, median 5 (IQR 1-11) per patient). 271 patients (81%) had an elevated CK (>380U/L), 202 (61%) had rhabdomyolysis (CK>1,000 IU/L), and 45 (14%) had severe rhabdomyolysis (≥5,000U/L). Among survivors, the maximum CK level was median 1,600 (IQR 550 to 3,400), peaking 3.4 days after admission (IQR 2.3 to 5.5) and decreasing thereafter. Among fatal cases, the CK rose monotonically until death, with maximum CK level of median 2,900 U/L (IQR 1,500 to 4,900). Rhabdomyolysis at admission was an independent predictor of AKI (aOR 2.2 [95%CI 1.2-3.8], p=0.0065) and mortality (aHR 1.7 [95%CI 1.03-2.9], p=0.037).

CONCLUSIONS: Rhabdomyolysis is associated with AKI and mortality in EVD patients. These findings may inform clinical practice by identifying lab monitoring priorities and highlighting the importance of fluid management.

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