Exertional rhabdomyolysis: Identification and evaluation of the athlete at risk for recurrence

Michelle E. Szczepanik, Yuval Heled, John Capacchione, William Campbell, Patricia Deuster, Francis G. O'Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Exertional rhabdomyolysis (ER) is a common medical condition encountered by primary care and sports medicine providers. Although the majority of individuals with ER follow an expected and unremarkable clinical course without any adverse long-term sequelae or increased risk for recurrence, in others, the condition can serve as an "unmasker" of an underlying condition that portends future risk. We present two cases of warfighters with a history of recurrent ER who presented to our facility for further evaluation and a return to duty determination. We describe the definition, pathophysiology, epidemiology, etiology, and clinical course of ER. In addition, we introduce "high-risk" criteria for ER to assist in identifying individuals needing further testing and work-up. Finally we present a suggested algorithm that details the work-up of these individuals with high-risk ER to help identify underlying conditions that may lead to recurrence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-119
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent sports medicine reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014


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