Very High Cpk Level


Asked by ahat

Very High Cpk Level

My son recently was diagnosed with Rhadbomyolosis. We went to the emergency room due to him having severe muscle pain and VERY dark urine. His CPK level was over 18,000. He was admitted to the hospital for 3 days of IV fluids. Many tests have been run and they don't know what caused this. They are sending us to a Rhuematologist in a couple of weeks. He did not have kidney damage. Thank goodness!! This is the third time this has happened but didn't know everything we know this time. Exercise seems to bring this on. Any answers or suggestions???



How very scary for you and your son... Exertional rhabdomyolysis is the sudden, accelerated breakdown of muscle. This sudden infux of protein into the blood system can overwhelm the kidneys and cause damage (luckily, not in this case).

According to one study: "Skeletal muscle breakdown occurs normally with exercise, followed by muscle repair and physiologic adaptation. Strenuous, unaccustomed, prolonged, and repetitive exercise, particularly when associated with other risk factors such as hot and humid climate or sickle cell trait can cause clinically significant exertional rhabdomyolysis (ER)"

Exertional Rhabdomyolysis is known to occur during football camps especially in hot, humid environments; thus, environment can be part of the cause. In most cases, genetic factors (like the sickle cell trait which is common in African-Americans) are the underlying root cause of ER.

A Hematologist (blood specialist) might be another specialist worth seeing as well as the Rheumatologist.

Your son should avoid excertion and exercise until the two of you have a better understanding about what in the world is going on.

Dr. Christina Lasich, MD

Answered by Christina Lasich, MD