Myoglobin Test

Test Overview

Myoglobin is a protein found in heart tissue and other muscles. It is released into the blood after damage to the heart or other muscles. Damage can occur from a serious event such as a heart attack or a burn.

Myoglobin can be checked with a blood test or a urine test. Levels in the blood will increase within about 3 hours after the damage. Myoglobin can be found in urine for several days.

Why It Is Done

The myoglobin test is used to look for disease or injury of muscle tissue. The urine test can help check for rhabdomyolysis.

How To Prepare

In general, there's nothing you have to do before this test, unless your doctor tells you to.

How It Is Done

Blood test

A health professional uses a needle to take a blood sample, usually from the arm.

Urine test

You will need a clock that measures time in seconds. You will also need wipes or towelettes to clean your genital area before you collect a urine sample.

  1. Wash your hands before you collect the urine.
  2. Prepare the container.

    If the container has a lid, remove the lid and set it down with the inner surface up.

  3. Clean the area around your penis or vagina.
  4. Start to urinate into the toilet or urinal.
  5. Collect the urine in the container.

    After the urine has flowed for several seconds, place the collection container in the stream. Collect about 2 ounces (a quarter cup) of this "midstream" urine without stopping the flow. Don't touch the rim of the container to your genital area.

  6. Finish urinating.
  7. Replace the lid on the container.
  8. Wash your hands.

Watch

How It Feels

Blood test

When a blood sample is taken, you may feel nothing at all from the needle. Or you might feel a quick sting or pinch.

Urine test

This test usually doesn't cause any pain or discomfort.

Risks

Blood test

There is very little chance of having a problem from this test. When a blood sample is taken, a small bruise may form at the site.

Urine test

There are no known risks from having this test.

Results

Each lab has a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should show the range that your lab uses for each test. The normal range is just a guide. Your doctor will also look at your results based on your age, health, and other factors. A value that isn't in the normal range may still be normal for you.

Credits

Current as of: September 23, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine