Myoplasmic Ca2+ concentration during exertional rhabdomyolysis

Lancet. 1995 Feb 18;345(8947):424-5. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(95)90405-0.


Exertional rhabdomyolysis can destroy muscle but the pathophysiology is unknown. Using intracellular selective microelectrodes, we found that intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) was 1.27 (0.17) mumol/L (median and interquartile range) in skeletal-muscle biopsy specimens from patients with exertional rhabdomyolysis compared with 0.12 (0.01) mumol/L in controls. 3 days treatment with dantrolene, a drug that inhibits Ca2+ release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum, decreased [Ca2+]i to 0.22 (0.05) mumol/L and accelerated patients' recovery. This study demonstrated that exertional rhabdomyolysis is associated with elevated [Ca2+]i, and that dantrolene has a beneficial effect in this syndrome.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Calcium / analysis*
  • Dantrolene / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Fluid / chemistry
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / chemistry*
  • Physical Exertion
  • Rhabdomyolysis / drug therapy
  • Rhabdomyolysis / physiopathology*


  • Dantrolene
  • Calcium