JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

[Critical illness myopathy and polyneuropathy]

D Senger, F Erbguth
Medizinische Klinik, Intensivmedizin und Notfallmedizin 2017, 112 (7): 589-596
28875277
An average of 50-80% of patients treated in the intensive care unit is affected by disturbances of neuromuscular functions due to damage to the nerves and muscles, which has led to the terms critical illness polyneuropathy and myopathy. Both components occur in 30-50% of patients, while the others predominantly show a pure myopathy, while pure neuropathy is rare. Meanwhile, the descriptive term of the concept as intensive care unit-acquired weakness (ICUAW) is preferred. The most significant risk factors for the development of ICUAW are sepsis, multiorgan dysfunction and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). In at least one third of patients, persistent impairment by paralysis, sensory disturbances and balance problems persist when they leave the ICU. At approximately 10%, these leg-accentuated and highly everyday relevant disorders persist over the first year after ICU therapy. Pure myopathy rarely leads to residual disturbances, while the neuropathic component is responsible for long-term impairments.

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