An outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) occurred in Taiwan in 2003. SARS complicated with rhabdomyolysis has rarely been reported. This study reported three cases of rhabdomyolysis developing during the clinical course of SARS. Thirty probable SARS patients were admitted to the isolation wards at Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital between 4 April and 4 June 2003. Thirty patients, including four men and 26 women aged from 12 to 87 years (mean age 40). Eleven (36.7%) patients had respiratory failure and required mechanical ventilation with paralytic therapy; three (10%) patients had rhabdomyolysis complicated with acute renal failure and one received haemodialysis; four (13.3%) patients died. Three cases with rhabdomyolysis all received sedative and paralytic therapy for mechanical ventilation. Haemodialysis was performed on one patient. Two patients died from multiple organ failure, and one patient fully recovered from rhabdomyolysis with acute renal failure. SARS is a serious respiratory illness, and its aetiology is a novel coronavirus. Rhabdomyolysis resulting from SARS virus infection was strongly suspected. Immobilisation under paralytic therapy and steroids may also be important in developing rhabdomyolysis.