• Myoglobin is a heme-containing, oxygen-binding protein which is present in the cytoplasm of cardiac and skeletal muscle cells. It serves as a reservoir of oxygen to meet very short-term needs.
  • When muscle cell injury occurs through disease, as in myocardial infarction, or through trauma, myoglobin is released into the blood. This usually begins within 2 to 6 hours following muscle tissue damage, peaks in 8 to 12 hours, and returns to a normal level in about 1 day.
  • Myoglobin is excreted by the kidneys (myoglobinuria) and is detected in the urine up to 1 week following muscle tissue injury.

Normal values:

  • <85 ng/mL (<85 μg/L SI units)


  • Malignant hyperthermia
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Muscle enzyme deficiencies
  • Muscle injury
  • Polymyositis
  • Renal failure
  • Rhabdomyolysis
  • Seizures
  • Severe burns
  • Shock
  • Surgical procedure
  • Trauma
  • Vigorous exercise

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