Unmasking of carnitine palmitoyltransferase deficiency during an acute exacerbation of asthma complicated by rhabdomyolysis in a soldier. Academic Article uri icon


  • ABSTRACT Rhabdomyolysis is a life-threatening condition that may result from various etiologies. We report a rare case of severe rhabdomyosis in a soldier after a mild acute asthma exacerbation. Further work-up revealed an underlying deficiency of type II carnitine palmitoyltransferase. The case is discussed along with a review of the literature. It is concluded that acute asthma exacerbations may be a unique precipitating factor of rhabdomyolysis and may therefore unmask underlying metabolic myopathies. Asthma may cause rhabdomyolysis through several different mechanisms, and thus the occurrence of rhabdomyolysis in the context of asthma exacerbations should warrant a work-up for metabolic diseases, especially in the presence of high creatine kinase levels. Given the high incidence of asthma, especially among young adults, a high index of suspicion is needed in order that rhabdomyolysis be promptly diagnosed and treated.

publication date

  • January 1, 2004