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Volume 26, Number 7—July 2020
Etymologia

Etymologia: Rhabdomyolysis

Ronnie HenryComments to Author 

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Rhabdomyolysis [rabʺdo-mi-olʹə-sis]

Figure

Thumbnail of Brown quail (Coturnix ypsilophora) by Duncan Wright - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2998176

Figure. Brown quail (Coturnix ypsilophora) by Duncan Wright - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2998176

From the Greek rhabdos (“rod”) + mus (“muscle”) + lusis (“loosening”), rhabdomyolysis refers to the rapid breakdown of skeletal (striated) muscle, releasing myoglobin into the blood, which can lead to kidney failure. In the Book of Numbers in the Bible, the Israelites grew tired of eating manna. They demanded that God send them meat. God, angry at their insolence, sent them quail but then strikes those who ate the meat with a plague (Numbers 11:31–35). This may have been an early account of rhabdomyolysis, since migrating quail (Figure) eat large amounts of hemlock, a known cause of rhabdomyolysis.

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References

  1. Huerta-Alardín  AL, Varon  J, Marik  PE. Bench-to-bedside review: rhabdomyolysis—an overview for clinicians. Crit Care. 2005;9:15869. DOIPubMed
  2. Rosner  F. Biblical quail incident. JAMA. 1970;211:1544. DOIPubMed
  3. Warren  JD, Blumbergs  PC, Thompson  PD. Rhabdomyolysis: a review. Muscle Nerve. 2002;25:33247. DOIPubMed

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Figure

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Cite This Article

DOI: 10.3201/eid2607.et2607

Original Publication Date: June 11, 2020

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Table of Contents – Volume 26, Number 7—July 2020

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Ronnie Henry, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, Mailstop V18-2, Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA

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Page created: June 11, 2020
Page updated: June 18, 2020
Page reviewed: June 18, 2020
The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.
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