Metabolic Depletion and Failure: Muscle Cachexia During Injury and Sepsis

  • Timothy A. Pritts
  • David R. Fischer
  • Per-Olof Hasselgren


Severe injury and sepsis are associated with metabolic changes in virtually all organs and tissues and include alterations in carbohydrate, lipid, and protein metabolism.1,2 One of the most prominent metabolic consequences of critical illness is the catabolic response in skeletal muscle. Metabolic depletion and failure in skeletal muscle result in muscle atrophy, weakness, and fatigue, preventing ambulation and delaying recovery in these patients. When respiratory muscles are involved in the catabolic response3, difficulties arise when weaning the patient from the ventilator. In addition, muscle weakness increases the risk for aspiration and pneumonia.


Muscle Protein Muscle Cachexia Protein Breakdown Catabolic Condition Catabolic Response 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy A. Pritts
  • David R. Fischer
  • Per-Olof Hasselgren

There are no affiliations available

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