[Rhabdomyolysis during acute poisoning with drugs and narcotics. Experience with 7 clinical cases]

Minerva Med. 1992 Dec;83(12):847-52.
[Article in Italian]


Numerous and extremely varied conditions (intense muscular activity, ischemia, metabolic and genetic disorders, infections, immunological diseases and toxic causes) may play a role in the genesis of non-traumatic rhabdomyolysis. Over the past years there has been an increased number of reports of forms due to drug or narcotic intoxication. Seven cases of rhabdomyolysis are reported in patients admitted to emergency wards in a state of coma due to heroin overdose (4 cases), cocaine overdose (1 case), carbamazepin (1 case), and tricyclic anti-depressives (1 case). In all cases it was possible to hypothesise a multifactorial pathogenesis of the disease in which other factors, such as acidosis, hypoxia, hypothermia and compression of the muscle mass during coma, were associated with the direct toxic damage caused by the drug. The most frequent complication was acute renal failure. One case of myocardial involvement with non-Q infarction characteristics was also observed.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Drug Overdose
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Poisoning / complications*
  • Rhabdomyolysis / chemically induced*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications*