Rhabdomyolysis, usually in the setting of trauma or drug use, is frequently seen in the emergency setting, and often leads to hyperkalemia at presentation. Hypokalemia, however, is a potentially underrecognized cause of rhabdomyolysis.
We present a case of rhabdomyolysis likely due to hypokalemia in the setting of short bowel syndrome.
Why Should an Emergency Physician Be Aware of This?
Although less common, hypokalemia can be a significant cause of rhabdomyolysis via its effects on muscle. This scenario should be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients at risk for hypokalemia who present with weakness. Rapid recognition of this relationship and rapid correction of hypokalemia may prove very important in preventing the deleterious effects of rhabdomyolysis.
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Published online: February 10, 2015
Accepted: December 21, 2014
Received in revised form: October 21, 2014
Received: July 2, 2013
© 2015 Elsevier Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.