Background: Earthquakes are major causes of morbidity and mortality. The Wenchuan region of China was devastated by a catastrophic earthquake on May 12, 2008, at 02:28 p.m. (Beijing time), registering magnitude 8.0 on the Richter scale and causing more than 69,181 deaths. As a first-line general hospital in the disaster area, Mianyang Central Hospital admitted a large number of the victims. Methods: A total of 534 victims (246 males, 288 females) were categorized as non-crush injury patients (n=239), simple crush injury patients (n=136), and crush syndrome patients (n=69) according to their traumatic conditions. Serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), cholinesterase (CHS), and creatine kinase (CK) levels were measured. Results: ALT, AST, LDH, CHS, and CK levels showed significant differences among the three groups by one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). Pearson correlation analysis showed that correlative changes between any two of the following: ALT, AST, GGT, ALP, LDH, and CHS were similar among three groups, with the following exceptions. The correlation coefficients of ALT-GGT, AST-GGT, and ALP-CHS changed from positive to negative values, and ALP-LDH changed from a negative value to a positive value. Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis showed the highest diagnostic effectiveness of 99.4% for CK, with 100% specificity [positive predictive value (PPV)=100%] and 99.4% sensitivity [negative predictive value (NPV)=99.0%] in distinguishing crush injury (including crush syndrome) from non-crush injury. AST had the best diagnostic effectiveness in distinguishing crush syndrome from crush injury; 53.8%, with 85.5% specificity (PPV=64.4%) and 77.9% sensitivity (NPV=90.7%). Multivariate logistic analysis revealed that CK was best at distinguishing crush injury (including crush syndrome) from non-crush injury (OR 409.636, 95% CI 382.96–438.17), and AST was best for distinguishing crush syndrome from crush injury (OR 50.08, 95% CI 46.84–53.55). Conclusions: Crush injury and crush syndrome are severe in victims following accidents or natural catastrophes. Serum CK, LDH, AST, ALT, GGT, and ALP activities were all helpful biochemical parameters in estimating the severity of crush injury and/or crush syndrome and preventing the development of further complications. Clin Chem Lab Med 2009;47:590–5.