Crush injury and rhabdomyolysis

Crit Care Clin. 2004 Jan;20(1):171-92. doi: 10.1016/s0749-0704(03)00091-5.


Crush injuries resulting in traumatic rhabdomyolysis are an important cause of acute renal failure. Ischemia reperfusion is the main mechanism of muscle injury. Intravascular volume depletion and renal hypoperfusion, combined with myoglobinuria, result in renal dysfunction. The infusion of intravenous fluids before extrication or soon after injury may lessen the severity of the crush syndrome. Serum CK levels can be used to screen patients with crush injuries to determine injury severity. Once intravascular volume has been stabilized, and the presence of urine flow has been confirmed, a forced mannitol-alkaline diuresis for prophylaxis against hyperkalemia and acute renal failure should be instituted. If an extremity compartment syndrome is suspected, one should have a low threshold for checking the intracompartmental pressures. Further studies are needed to demonstrate if any treatment regimen is truly superior to early, aggressive crystalloid infusion.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / etiology
  • Acute Kidney Injury / physiopathology
  • Acute Kidney Injury / therapy*
  • Algorithms
  • Compartment Syndromes / diagnosis
  • Compartment Syndromes / physiopathology
  • Compartment Syndromes / therapy*
  • Crush Syndrome / complications
  • Crush Syndrome / etiology
  • Crush Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Multiple Trauma / diagnosis
  • Multiple Trauma / physiopathology*
  • Rhabdomyolysis* / metabolism
  • Rhabdomyolysis* / physiopathology
  • Rhabdomyolysis* / therapy