Cessation of Myoglobin

Canterbury Health Laboratories wishes to advise that Myoglobin (both urine and plasma/serum) will no longer be available from 31st December 2020.

Myoglobin was previously estimated as an early marker of muscle damage. However, it has largely been replaced by the measurement of Creatine Kinase (CK). Urine myoglobin has also been replaced with the estimation of plasma CK when assessing the risk of kidney damage due to rhabdomyolysis.

In the assessment of patients with muscle pain, testing for myoglobin is of limited value and CK is indicated in the investigation of possible rhabdomyolysis. The recommended test in the evaluation of patients with chest pain – high sensitivity Troponin is the earliest marker for the investigation of Acute Coronary Syndrome, measurement of myoglobin is NOT indicated in this situation.

A review of myoglobin requests has shown that 80% of plasma myoglobin requests are made in patients with chest pain – where the result has limited value. Also, more than 50% of the urine myoglobin tests were done on patients with normal plasma CK.

Given the findings of our review, CHL will discontinue the tests for urine and plasma myoglobin at the end of December 2020.

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