Rhabdomyolysis after performing blood flow restriction training: A case report

Shogo Tabata, Yukio Suzuki, Koichiro Azuma, Hideo Matsumoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Rhabdomyolysis is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition related to resistance training. Despite numerous reports of low-intensity blood flow restriction (BFR) training inducing muscle hypertrophy and increasing strength, few reports of rhabdomyolysis related to BFR training have been published. Here, we report a 30-year-old obese Japanese man admitted to our hospital the day after his first BFR training session with complaints of severe muscle pain in his upper and lower extremities, high fever, and pharyngeal pain. He was diagnosed with acute rhabdomyolysis based on a serum creatine phosphokinase level of 56,475 U·L -1 and a urine myoglobin level of >3,000 ng·ml -1, and with acute tonsillitis based on a white blood cell count of 17,390 and C-reactive protein level of 10.43 mg·dl -1. A number of factors are suspected to be related to the onset and exacerbation of rhabdomyolysis, including excessive muscular training with BFR, bacterial infection, and medication. After 10 days of hospitalization with intravenous fluids and antibacterial drugs, he recovered without complications. This case indicates that BFR training should be conducted with careful consideration of the physical condition and strength of the individual to prevent serious complications, such as rhabdomyolysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2064-2068
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 1


  • BFR
  • complication
  • drug-induced
  • exercise-induced

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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