Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 29, Issue 9, pp 1411–1413 | Cite as

Neuromuscular alterations in the critically ill patient: critical illness myopathy, critical illness neuropathy, or both?

  • Nicola LatronicoEmail author

"During a four year period, five patients developed a severe polyneuropathy within one month of admission to a critical care unit" [1]. When first systematically described in the early 1980s, critical illness polyneuropathy (CIP) seemed no more than a scientific curiosity. Research over the past 20 years from Europe and Canada, however, has shown that CIP is the most frequent acute polyneuropathy encountered in the critically ill patients [2]. Although the exact incidence in unknown due to wide variation in diagnostic criteria and patients case-mix, available data regarding the incidence of CIP in critically ill patients are rather impressive: 58% in patients with a prolonged (>1 week) intensive care unit (ICU) stay [3], 68.5% in patients with sepsis [4], 70% in patients with multiple organ failure [5], 76% in patients with septic shock [6], and 82% in patients with sepsis and multiple organ failure [7]. If a prudent estimate is accepted that two patients with CIP are discharged...


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Anesthesiology-Intensive CareUniversity of BresciaBresciaItaly

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