Rhabdomyolysis in 114 patients with acute poisonings

Seyed Reza Mousavi, Maryam Vahabzadeh, Adeleh Mahdizadeh, Mansooreh Vafaee, Mahmood Sadeghi, Reza Afshari, Mahdi Balali-Mood


Background: Rhabdomyolysis is a clinical and biochemical syndrome, which is observed in some patients with acute chemical and/or pharmaceutical poisonings. We aimed to investigate rhabdomyolysis in patients with acute poisonings due to different chemicals, natural toxins or drug overdose. Materials and Methods: Following approval of the University medical research committee and obtaining informed consents from the patients or their relatives, all patients with acute poisonings who were treated between March 2009 and February 2010 in the Toxicologic Ward of Imam Reza Hospital and had serum creatine phosphokinase (CPK) above 975 IU/L (as a definition for rhabdomyolysis) were studied. Results: Of 3555 hospitalized poisoned patients, 114 patients had rhabdomyolysis with CPK of 5996 ± 892 IU/L (mean ± standard error). The most common intoxication to induce the rhabdomyolysis was opioid overdose (28%). Acute renal failure (ARF) was diagnosed in 11 (8.7%) patients. There was a linear correlation between CPK and creatinine (P < 0.001), which in turn had a significant correlation with death (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Patients with acute poisoning were at risk of rhabdomyolysis. Acute opioid poisoning was the most common cause of toxic rhabdomyolysis in the intoxicated patients, and ARF was the main complication.


Key words: Acute poisoning, acute renal failure, creatine kinase, creatinine, intoxication, rhabdomyolysis

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