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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2007 December;47(4):502-5

language: English

Severe rhabdomyolysis after excessive bodybuilding

Finsterer J. 1, Zuntner G. 2, Fuchs M. 2, Weinberger A. 2

1 Rudolfstiftung Hospital, Vienna Austria
2 Third Medical Department Rudolfstiftung Hospital, Vienna, Austria


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A 46-year-old male subject performed excessive physical exertion during 4-6 h in a studio for body builders during 5 days. He was not practicing sport prior to this training and denied the use of any aiding substances. Despite muscle aching already after 1 day, he continued the exercises. After the last day, he recognized tiredness and cessation of urine production. Two days after discontinuation of the training, a Herpes simplex infection occurred. Because of acute renal failure, he required hemodialysis. There were absent tendon reflexes and creatine kinase (CK) values up to 208 274 U/L (normal: <170 U/L). After 2 weeks, CK had almost normalized and, after 4 weeks, hemodialysis was discontinued. Excessive muscle training may result in severe, hemodialysis-dependent rhabdomyolysis. Triggering factors may be prior low fitness level, viral infection, or subclinical metabolic myopathy.

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