Factors affecting urinary myoglobin stability in vitro

Zehava Chen-Levy, Mark H. Wener, Bert Toivola, Phyllis Daum, Morayma Reyes, James S. Fine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Urine myoglobin concentrations are measured clinically to assess rhabdomyolysis and the related risk of renal damage. We studied urine myoglobin concentrations in vitro to explore the factors affecting stability. Myoglobin was very unstable in urine specimens, especially below pH 6.5, and its immunoreactivity deteriorated rapidly with increasing temperatures. The deterioration rate was influenced greatly by urine myoglobin concentration, suggesting rate-limiting kinetics. Myoglobin in acidic phosphate-buffered saline was significantly more stable than in acidic urine, indicating that urinary factors in addition to pH are involved in myoglobin instability. These unidentified urinary factors had a molecular weight of less than 10 kd. Our results provide additional insight into the mechanism involved in the instability of the urine myoglobin concentration. Understanding the stability of myoglobin in the preanalytic in vitro phase and its potential in vivo instability is essential in ensuring the reliability and clinical usefulness of urine myoglobin measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-438
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of clinical pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Immunoassays
  • Muscle cell damage
  • Myoglobin
  • Myoglobinuria
  • Rhabdomyolysis
  • Urine myoglobin instability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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