Myoglobin is a protein found in heart tissue and other muscles. It helps trap oxygen in the muscle cells so that the muscles can work properly.

Myoglobin levels in the blood rise after a serious injury, such as a heart attack or a burn. An increased level helps to diagnose a heart attack.

Strenuous exercise, an injury to a muscle, or a shot into the muscle can cause myoglobin levels to go up. High levels can also be caused by heavy alcohol use. Myoglobin levels also are high in people who have kidney failure, because myoglobin is removed from the blood by the kidneys.

Last Updated: August 21, 2009

Author: Robin Parks, MS

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Stephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology

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