Critical illness myopathy and polyneuropathy

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By Mazen Dimachkie MD

Dr. Dimachkie, Professor of Neurology and Director of the Neuromuscular Disease Section at the University of Kansas Medical Center, describes the neuromuscular complications of critical illness. In this update, Dr. Dimachkie discusses a large study that links intensive glucose control in critically ill patients to an increased risk of moderate and severe hypoglycemia, both of which are associated with an increased risk of death. Furthermore, he reviews the American Diabetes Association current recommendations for a target blood glucose in order to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia in critically ill patients.

Key Points

  • After intensive neurorehabilitation, most critical illness neuropathy or myopathy patients recover within 1 to 2 years.
  • The presence of additional central nervous system lesions is associated with poor prognosis for recovery.

In This Article

Historical note and nomenclature
Clinical manifestations
Clinical vignette
Pathogenesis and pathophysiology
Differential diagnosis
Diagnostic workup
Prognosis and complications
References cited