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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Severe Rhabdomyolysis in a 35-Year-old Woman with COVID-19 due to SARS-CoV-2 Infection: A Case Report

Challenging differential diagnosis, Diagnostic / therapeutic accidents, Unusual setting of medical care, Rare coexistence of disease or pathology

Riyadh Alrubaye, Hasan Choudhury

USA Department of Hospital Medicine, Northeast Georgia Health System, Gainesville, GA, USA

Am J Case Rep 2020; 21:e926733

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.926733

Available online: 2020-07-17

Published: 2020-08-17


BACKGROUND: Rhabdomyolysis is a skeletal muscle injury that has different etiologies and can be a manifestation of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Because it is a life-threatening condition, rapid diagnosis is necessary to prevent acute complications. Diagnostic criteria for rhabdomyolysis are elevated serum creatine kinase, liver enzyme levels, and myalgia. Rhabdomyolysis can easily be missed in patients with COVID-19. Herein, we report the case of a female with rhabdomyolysis as a manifestation of acute COVID-19.
CASE REPORT: A 35-year-old female was found to have rhabdomyolysis associated with COVID-19. Her creatine kinase and liver enzyme levels were significantly elevated. Ringer’s lactate infusion was administered at a controlled rate to treat the rhabdomyolysis along with boluses of normal saline, with close monitoring of her oxygen saturation and kidney function. The patient’s creatine kinase and liver enzyme levels peaked on Day 2 and then decreased. Her medical condition improved, and she was discharged on Day 4.
CONCLUSIONS: Our case highlights the need to monitor the creatine kinase level of hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Fluid management can be challenging in patients with rhabdomyolysis due to COVID-19 because of the risk of fluid overload and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Clinicians should be aware that a significant elevation in liver enzyme levels and myalgia can be the presenting features of rhabdomyolysis in patients with COVID-19.

Keywords: Alanine Transaminase, Aspartate Aminotransferases, COVID-19, creatine kinase, rhabdomyolysis, SARS Virus