Muscle enzyme elevation after elective neurosurgery

D. Poli, M. Gemma, S. Cozzi, D. Lugani, L. Germagnoli, L. Beretta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Serum creatine kinase and myoglobin elevation has been described involving muscle manipulation after surgery and also after bariatric, urologic and gynaecologic procedures. It encompasses a wide range of severity, reflecting in the worst cases true rhabdomyolysis. We occasionally noted creatine kinase elevations after intracranial neurosurgery, an occurrence that has not yet been described. To assess whether the issue of postoperative muscle enzyme elevation is relevant to neurosurgery, we prospectively measured serum creatine kinase and myoglobin in a series of neurosurgical patients submitted to craniotomy. Materials and methods: We studied 30 patients aged 22-69 yr submitted to craniotomy. Blood samples were taken prior to the procedure, at the end of anaesthesia and on the first, second and third postoperative days. Blood was checked for creatine kinase, myoglobin, lactate dehydrogenase, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine and serum electrolytes. We recorded the patient's age, sex, height, weight and body mass index. Throughout surgery, we recorded the highest and the lowest body temperature and sampled the mean arterial pressure at 5 min intervals. We performed backwards stepwise logistic regression analysis to identify the elements that best correlate with the development of cell muscle damage. Results: On the first postoperative day creatine kinase peaked from baseline (305 (107-1306) UI L-1 vs. 59 (42-94) UI L-1; P <0.001) while myoglobin rose significantly from baseline to the end of surgery (70 (42-147) ng mL-1 vs. 36 (30-44) ng mL-1; P = 0.002). Logistic regression showed that length of surgery was the only factor clearly influencing peak creatine kinase (P <0.001; R2 0.7) and myoglobin (P = 0.011; R2 0.41) concentration. Conclusions: Creatine kinase and myoglobin elevation may occur after intracranial neurosurgery. In our series, length of surgery was a risk factor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-555
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Anaesthesiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


  • Creatine kinase
  • Myoglobin
  • Neurosurgical procedures, craniotomy
  • Rhabdomyolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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