Reperfusion injury in skeletal muscle: a prospective study in patients with acute limb ischaemia and claudicants treated by revascularization

Br J Surg. 1992 Oct;79(10):1026-9. doi: 10.1002/bjs.1800791013.


A study was carried out to document the occurrence of rhabdomyolysis and renal complications in patients undergoing vascular reconstruction. Indices of muscle damage and renal function were monitored before, during and for up to 10 days after vascular reconstruction for a variety of conditions ranging from intermittent claudication to acute ischaemia. Seven patients with acute limb ischaemia (group 1) and nine with intermittent claudication (group 2) were studied prospectively. In group 1, median creatine kinase (CK) and myoglobin levels were markedly raised 24-48 h after surgery (CK, 29,370 units/l; myoglobin, 8.17 mg/l). Myoglobin reached its peak concentration and declined more quickly than CK, but both indices gave similar information about the extent of muscle damage. In contrast, patients undergoing elective surgery for claudication showed no significant departure from reference values for myoglobin or CK. All patients in group 1 underwent fasciotomy to relieve raised compartmental pressures and five were treated with alkali and mannitol to produce diuresis. Despite these measures, two patients suffered renal failure (peak creatinine levels 611 and 590 mumol/l) after successful revascularization and subsequently required haemodialysis; these patients did not have diuresis. One of these patients died following a stroke 8 days after surgery; the other survived and was discharged with a normal limb and restored renal function. There was no evidence of muscle damage or renal complications in group 2.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / etiology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis / adverse effects*
  • Creatine Kinase / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intermittent Claudication / surgery*
  • Ischemia / surgery*
  • Leg / blood supply*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myoglobin / blood
  • Postoperative Complications* / blood
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reperfusion Injury / blood
  • Reperfusion Injury / etiology*
  • Rhabdomyolysis / blood
  • Rhabdomyolysis / etiology*


  • Myoglobin
  • Creatine Kinase