BACKGROUND/AIMS: Rhabdomyolysis is a serious and lethal condition that can be induced not only by traumatic causes but also by a variety of nontraumatic causes. However, there are few reports about rhabdomyolysis developed in patients with liver cirrhosis. We carried out this study to elucidate the clinical characteristics and courses of rhabdomyolysis in patients with liver cirrhosis. METHODS: We analyzed 19 cases of nontraumatic rhabdomyolysis in patients with liver cirrhosis who had admitted at Korea University Ansan Hospital between October 2001 and September 2004. RESULTS: Alcohol (50%) was the main etiology of rhabdomyolysis in alcoholic liver cirrhosis patients, and the precipitating factors were not apparent (69.2%) in majority of nonalcoholic liver cirrhosis patients with rhabdomyolysis. Nonalcoholic liver cirrhosis patients had complaints of pain referable to the musculoskeletal system, but alcoholic liver cirrhosis patients had no typical complaints. Mortality of rhabdomyolysis in liver cirrhosis patients was high (42.1%), especially in decompensated liver cirrhosis patients (p=0.04). In nonalcoholic liver cirrhosis patients, the development of oliguria (p=0.007) and acute renal failure (p=0.049) in the course of rhabdomyolysis increased the mortality significantly. CONCLUSIONS: In cirrhosis patients, rhabdomyolysis showed a poor prognosis, especially in nonalcoholic liver cirrhosis with oliguria, acute renal failure, or decompensated liver cirrhosis. It is believed that a high clinical suspicion for the occurrence of rhabdomyolysis in liver cirrhosis patients can lead to quicker recognition and better patient care.