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Myoglobin is a marker of muscle cell damage, ie the substance that enters the blood when there is damage to the skeletal muscles of the body and also to the heart muscle. Therefore, the determination of the concentration of myoglobin is performed, among others, by in the event of a heart attack. What are the other indications for the study? What are the norms for myoglobin? What does increased level of this protein mean?

Myoglobinis a protein that occurs in the heart and skeletal muscles of the body. Its function is to supply and store oxygen in the muscles so that they can generate the energy necessary for contraction and thus work. When both the heart and skeletal muscles are damaged, myoglobin is released into the blood. It also enters urine, but only in cases of muscle damage other than a heart attack.

Myoglobin - indications for the test

The determination of the concentration of this protein is performed when a heart attack is suspected. Myoglobin is one of the markers of heart, i.e. substances that enter the blood as a result of damage to the heart muscle, e.g. a heart attack, i.e. necrosis of a part of the heart muscle caused by its ischemia. Unfortunately, it is not a specific marker, i.e. its presence in the blood may indicate damage not only to the heart muscle, but also to other muscles. In this connection, the determination of only myoglobin does not allow the diagnosis of a heart attack. If an infarction is suspected, another cardiac marker specific for heart damage - troponin, and an ECG test are also performed at the same time.

In addition, it will only work in the diagnosis of a recent heart attack, and not its later phase, because the increase in concentration occurs as early as 2-4 hours after the incident, and the highest concentration occurs 8 hours after the attack of pain, and the elevated levels are maintained only for 12-15 hours.

CHECK>>Cardiac markers will help diagnose a heart attack and coronary artery disease

The measurement of myoglobin level is also used to evaluate the treatment of a heart attack by restoring the coronary artery. Thanks to this, it is possible to check whether the restoration of the artery turned out to be effective.

In turn, testing of myoglobin in urine can be ordered in people who have suffered significant damage to skeletal muscles.The concentration of myoglobin in the urine reflects the degree of muscle damage. Therefore, it has found application in sports - in training control.

This test also allows you to determine the risk of kidney failure, because as a result of muscle damage, the concentration of myoglobin increases rapidly, and for the kidneys it is a toxic substance that, in excess, may lead to impairment of their functions.

Myoglobin - how to prepare for the test?

Prior to the examination, significant physical exertion and no intramuscular injections should be avoided.


Myoglobin - norms

  • in blood - 60 ng / ml
  • in urine - up to 17 µg per 1 g of creatinine

Myoglobin - research results. How to interpret them?

Elevated blood levels of myoglobin may indicate a heart attack. However, the correct level of myoglobin excludes the occurrence of a heart attack.

Increased levels of myoglobin in both blood and urine indicate muscle damage, which may be the result of:

Urine myoglobin concentration reflects the degree of muscle damage

  • intense physical exertion
  • receiving intramuscular injections
  • physical injuries (e.g. crushing)
  • infections
  • toxins (e.g. viper venom)
  • myositis
  • seizure
  • certain skeletal muscle diseases such as muscular dystrophy, rhabdomyolysis, myopathies
  • certain genetic diseases in which skeletal muscles are damaged

A high concentration of myoglobin in the urine also indicates an increased risk of damage and kidney failure or already impaired renal function. Additional tests are then performed, such as BUN, creatinine, and a urinalysis to confirm the diagnosis

In addition, elevated levels of myoglobin can be caused by diabetic coma, hypothyroidism, Conn's syndrome, hypokalemia, hypophosphatemia, hypernatremia, alcohol intoxication and taking certain medications, drugs.

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