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Exercise-induced rhabdomyolysis.

STUDY OBJECTIVE: To describe the syndrome of exercise-induced rhabdomyolysis and to investigate the relation between exercise-induced rhabdomyolysis and the development of acute renal failure.

DESIGN: Retrospective chart analysis on all patients with a discharge diagnosis of rhabdomyolysis from January 1988 to January 1993.

SETTING: An urban tertiary care center with 225,000 annual emergency department visits.

TYPE OF PARTICIPANTS: Thirty-five patients met the inclusion criteria for exercise-induced rhabdomyolysis: a history of strenuous exercise, creatine phosphokinase level more than 500, and urine dipstick positive for blood without hematuria. We excluded patients with a history of trauma, myocardial infarction, stroke, or documented sepsis. Charts also were examined for the presence of nephrotoxic cofactors (ie, hypovolemia and/or acidosis).

RESULTS: All 35 patients were men without significant past medical history and were an average age of 24.4 years. The average admission creatine phosphokinase was 40,471 U/L. No patient presented with or developed nephrotoxic cofactors during hospitalization. None of our study patients experienced acute renal failure.

CONCLUSION: Previous literature has described a 17% to 40% incidence of acute renal failure in rhabdomyolysis. None of our patients developed acute renal failure, signifying a much lower incidence of acute renal failure in exercise-induced rhabdomyolysis without nephrotoxic cofactors than in other forms of rhabdomyolysis.

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