Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Background: Bedside experience and studies of critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) indicate COVID-19 to be a devastating multisystem disease. We aim to describe the incidence, associated variables, and outcomes of rhabdomyolysis in critically ill COVID-19 patients. Materials and Methods: Data for all critically ill adult patients (≥18 years old) admitted to the ICU at a large academic medical center with confirmed COVID-19 between March 13, 2020 and April 18, 2020 were prospectively collected. Patients with serum creatine kinase (CK) concentrations greater than 1000 U/L were diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis. Patients were further stratified as having moderate (serum CK concentration 1000-4999 U/L) or severe (serum CK concentration ≥5000 U/L) rhabdomyolysis. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify outcomes and variables associated with the development of rhabdomyolysis. Results: Of 235 critically ill COVID-19 patients, 114 (48.5%) met diagnostic criteria for rhabdomyolysis. Patients with rhabdomyolysis more often required mechanical ventilation (P < 0.001), prone positioning (P < 0.001), pharmacological paralysis (P < 0.001), renal replacement therapy (P = 0.010), and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) (P = 0.025). They also had longer median ICU length of stay (LOS) (P < 0.001) and hospital LOS (P < 0.001). No difference in mortality was observed. Male sex, patients with morbid obesity, SOFA score, and prone positioning were independently associated with rhabdomyolysis. Conclusions: Nearly half of critically ill COVID-19 patients in our cohort met diagnostic criteria for rhabdomyolysis. Male sex, morbid obesity, SOFA score, and prone position were independently associated with rhabdomyolysis. Study Type: Prognostic.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Surgical Research

Publication Date





35 - 43