critical illness polyneuropathy

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critical illness polyneuropathy2016-12-19T05:37:58+00:00

critical illness polyneuropathy


Definition A condition seen in patients requiring long-term critical care, which is characterised by nerve damage and muscle degeneration. It is predominantly a motor axonal polyneuropathy of acute onset occurring in a background of multisystem organ failure and systemic inflammation, often due to gram-negative sepsis.

Clinical findings Flaccid paralysis, respiratory paralysis, hyporeflexia, muscle atrophy, distal sensory defects 

Diagnosis EMG studies reveal axonopathic features–e.g., fibrillations and sharp positive waves on concentric needle studies, decreased amplitude of muscle or nerve action potentials after stimulation; in half of cases, conduction velocity is decreased and distal latency times increased.

Prognosis Critical illness polyneuropathy is associated with increased mortality and rehabilitation problems

Synonyms Acute polyneuropathy of the critically ill, critical illness neuromyopathy, critical illness polyneuromyopathy

References Lancet Neurol. 2011 Oct;10(10):931-41.
doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(11)70178-8  

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