Table 2.

Etiology of rhabdomyolysis.5

Non-physical causes Physical causes
Electrolyte abnormalities
  • Hypokalemia, hypocalcemia, hypophosphatemia, hyponatremia, hypernatremia

Alcohol, drugs, and toxins
  • Regular and illegal drugs
  • Toxins (snake and insect venoms, fish toxins)

Infections and infestations
  • Infections localized to muscles (pyomyositis)
  • Metastatic infections (sepsis)
  • Other bacterial and viral infections

Metabolic myopathies
  • Myophosphorylase deficiency (McArdle disease)
  • Other enzymatic defects

Endocrine disorders
  • Hypothyroidism, diabetic coma

Disseminated intravascular coagulation
Polymyositis, dermatomyositis
Trauma and/or compression of the muscles
  • Natural and man-made disasters, traffic or working accidents, torture, beating, long-term confinement to the same position

Occlusion or hypoperfusion of the muscular vessels
  • Thrombosis, embolism, vessel clamping, shock

Electrical current
  • High-voltage electrical injury
  • Cardioversion

  • High ambient temperatures
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome
  • Malignant hyperthermia, sepsis

Strainful exercise
  • Exercise, delirium tremens, epilepsy
RMMJ Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal Rambam Health Care Campus 2011 April; 2(2): e0039. ISSN: 2076-9172
Published online 2011 April 30. doi: 10.5041/RMMJ.10039.