Elevated serum creatine kinase levels in psychiatric practice: Differential diagnosis and clinical significance: A brief, practical guideline for clinicians

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2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction. Elevated serum CK levels often occur in psychiatric in-patient practice. Although the majority of cases are benign and temporary, it is important to recognize and treat these conditions. Aims. To discuss the etiology, the clinical significance and the management of elevated creatine kinase levels in psychiatric in-patient practice, focusing on antipsychotic-induced rhabdomyolysis. To compare the pathogenesis and the clinical features of rhabdomyolysis and neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Methods. Review of the literature. Results. A brief, practical guideline is introduced, which may help clinicians in the differential diagnosis and in the management of patients with elevated creatine kinase activity in emergent psychiatric practice. Conclusions. The most common etiologic factors (prescription drugs, alcohol, physical reasons, cardiac etiology) and clinical syndromes (rhabdomyolysis, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, acute coronary syndrome) should be considered, when elevated creatine kinase levels are encountered in psychiatric in-patients. Routine creatine kinase measurements in asymptomatic patients on antipsychotic medications are not recommended, but patients should be carefully followed for the development of rhabdomyolysis, when muscular symptoms arise. Careful monitoring of symptoms and potential complications is critical in order to avoid devastating clinical consequences. Cautiously challenging patients with another antipsychotic after an antipsychotic-induced rhabdomyolysis is recommended to decrease the possibility of recurrence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-150
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2008

Keywords

  • Antipsychotics
  • Creatine kinase
  • Guideline
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome
  • Rhabdomyolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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