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A Stronger Approach to Weakness in the Intensive Care Unit
Critical Care
  • G. Bryan Young, University of Western Ontario
  • Robert R. Hammond, University of Western Ontario
Document Type
Response or Comment
Publication Date

ICU-acquired limb and respiratory muscle weakness is a common, serious ICU syndrome, increasing in frequency with prolonged ICU stay and sepsis. A systematic approach facilitates precise localization of the problem within central or peripheral nervous system. Most cases relate to critical illness polyneuropathy or myopathy or a combination of both (critical illness neuromyopathy). Within the latter entity, the relative contribution of neuropathy versus myopathy varies considerably among affected patients. Muscle enzyme testing, electromyography-nerve conduction and muscle biopsy are valuable investigative tests. Nerve biopsy is less commonly needed, but is useful when vascultis is suspected.

Published in: Critical Care, 2004, 8:416-418. doi: 10.1186/cc2961
Citation Information
G. Bryan Young and Robert R. Hammond. "A Stronger Approach to Weakness in the Intensive Care Unit" Critical Care Vol. 8 Iss. 6 (2004) p. 416 - 418
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