Formal Name
Serum myoglobin, Urine myoglobin
This article was last reviewed on
This article waslast modified on 29 October 2018.
At a Glance
Why Get Tested?

This test is not in routine use, it was historically used to help diagnose muscle injury but has since been replaced by the superior marker creatine kinase (CK), which is measured in blood.

When To Get Tested?

No longer in routine clinical use.

Sample Required?

A blood sample taken from a vein in the arm or a random urine sample

Test Preparation Needed?


On average it takes 7 working days for the blood test results to come back from the hospital, depending on the exact tests requested. Some specialist test results may take longer, if samples have to be sent to a reference (specialist) laboratory. The X-ray & scan results may take longer. If you are registered to use the online services of your local practice, you may be able to access your results online. Your GP practice will be able to provide specific details.

If the doctor wants to see you about the result(s), you will be offered an appointment. If you are concerned about your test results, you will need to arrange an appointment with your doctor so that all relevant information including age, ethnicity, health history, signs and symptoms, laboratory and other procedures (radiology, endoscopy, etc.), can be considered.

Lab Tests Online-UK is an educational website designed to provide patients and carers with information on laboratory tests used in medical care. We are not a laboratory and are unable to comment on an individual's health and treatment.

Reference ranges are dependent on many factors, including patient age, sex, sample population, and test method, and numeric test results can have different meanings in different laboratories.

For these reasons, you will not find reference ranges for the majority of tests described on this web site. The lab report containing your test results should include the relevant reference range for your test(s). Please consult your doctor or the laboratory that performed the test(s) to obtain the reference range if you do not have the lab report.

For more information on reference ranges, please read Reference Ranges and What They Mean.

What is being tested?

Blood or urine was historically tested for the presence of myoglobin, a red protein found in muscles. Myoglobin traps oxygen allowing muscle cells to work properly. When muscle is injured, myoglobin is released into the blood and appears in the urine.

How is the sample collected for testing?

A blood sample is taken by needle from a vein in the arm or a random urine sample.

Is any test preparation needed to ensure the quality of the sample?

No test preparation is needed.

Accordion Title
Common Questions
  • How is it used?

    Myoglobin was once the primary test to for people with suspected muscle injury. It has been replaced by creatine kinase (CK), which is more sensitive, specific and the concentration remains elevated in the bloodstream for longer following the injury.

  • When is it requested?

    It is no longer in routine use within the UK having been superseded by the muscle enzyme creatine kinase (CK).

  • What does the test result mean?

    A high myoglobin concentration indicates that there has been some recent muscle damage.

  • Is there anything else I should know?

    The excretion of myoglobin by the kidney can lead to renal failure.

    Myoglobin is no longer requested in people with chest pain who are suspected of having had a heart attack, having been superseded by troponin, a test which is specific for heart muscle and which also remains elevated for longer in the bloodstream.

  • How does myoglobin cause kidney failure?

    Myoglobin released from damaged muscle into plasma is filtered by the kidneys into the urine but can precipitate in the kidney tubules, obstructing urine formation. This is a particular risk if shock lowers blood pressure and reduces the rate of urine production. Infusion of fluid into a vein can help increase the rate of urine production and myoglobin loss therefore reducing the risk of kidney failure.