Peak value of blood myoglobin predicts acute renal failure induced by rhabdomyolysis

J Crit Care. 2010 Dec;25(4):601-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrc.2010.04.002.


Purpose: Acute renal failure (ARF) is the most important complication of rhabdomyolysis. Serial measurements of blood myoglobin might be useful for predicting rhabdomyolysis-induced ARF.

Methods: Thirty patients with rhabdomyolysis were examined. The causes of rhabdomyolysis were trauma, burns, and ischemia, among others. Serial blood myoglobin levels were measured by immunochromatography, and the peak value was determined. The relationship between blood myoglobin levels and the incidence of ARF was evaluated.

Results: The median peak blood myoglobin level was 3335 ng/mL. Acute renal failure occurred in 12 patients (40%). Nine patients (30%) underwent renal replacement therapy. Peak creatine kinase and peak blood myoglobin levels in the ARF group were significantly higher than those in the non-ARF group. Three patients in the ARF group were treated with renal replacement therapy before occurrence of uremia because of extremely high levels of blood myoglobin (>10,000 ng/mL). Receiver operating characteristic analysis showed that the area under the curve for blood myoglobin that predicted ARF was 0.88, and the best cutoff value for blood myoglobin was 3865 ng/mL.

Conclusions: The peak value for blood myoglobin might be a good predictor of rhabdomyolysis-induced ARF. Early renal protective therapies should be considered for patients with rhabdomyolysis at high risk of ARF.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / blood
  • Acute Kidney Injury / epidemiology
  • Acute Kidney Injury / etiology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Critical Care
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myoglobin / blood*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rhabdomyolysis / blood
  • Rhabdomyolysis / complications*


  • Biomarkers
  • Myoglobin