Rhabdomyolysis is Associated with In-Hospital Mortality in Patients with COVID-19

Shock. 2021 Sep 1;56(3):360-367. doi: 10.1097/SHK.0000000000001725.


Purpose: Rhabdomyolysis (RM) has been associated with many viral infectious diseases, and associated with poor outcomes. We aim to evaluate the clinical features and outcomes of RM in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Method: This was a single-center, retrospective, cohort study of 1,014 consecutive hospitalized patients with confirmed COVID-19 at the Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, China, between February 17 and April 12, 2020.

Results: The overall incidence of RM was 2.2%. Compared with patients without RM, those with RM tended to have a higher risk of deterioration. Patients with RM also constituted a greater percentage of patients admitted to the intensive care unit (90.9% vs. 5.3%, P < 0.001) and a greater percentage of patients undergoing mechanical ventilation (86.4% vs. 2.7% P < 0.001). Moreover, patients with RM had laboratory test abnormalities, including the presence of markers of inflammation, activation of coagulation, and kidney injury. Patients with RM also had a higher risk of in-hospital death (P < 0.001). Cox's proportional hazard regression model analysis confirmed that RM indicators, including peak creatine kinase levels > 1,000 IU/L (HR = 6.46, 95% CI: 3.02-13.86) and peak serum myoglobin concentrations > 1,000 ng/mL (HR = 9.85, 95% CI: 5.04-19.28), were independent risk factors for in-hospital death. Additionally, patients with COVID-19 that developed RM tended to have delayed viral clearance.

Conclusion: RM might be an important contributing factor to adverse outcomes in COVID-19 patients. The early detection and effective intervention of RM may help reduce mortality among COVID-19 patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • COVID-19 / complications*
  • COVID-19 / mortality*
  • China / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rhabdomyolysis / complications*
  • Rhabdomyolysis / mortality*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult