American Journal of Medical Sciences and Medicine
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American Journal of Medical Sciences and Medicine. 2021, 9(2), 53-59
DOI: 10.12691/ajmsm-9-2-4
Open AccessArticle

Generalized Weakness in Intensive Care Unit: Review Article

Hussam Mustafa Rawas1, , Mazen Alaadeen Nassar1, Ammar Adnan AbuSeer2, Abdullah Hussain Khan2, Haytham Abdulsalam Nasrulden3, Lamees Abdulelah subhi2, Saleh Tariq Baaziz3 and Moatz Obaidulrahman Alhandi4

1ICU Resident, National Guard Hospital, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

2ICU Resident, Al Noor Specialist hospital, Makkah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

3ICU Resident, King Abdulaziz university hospital, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

4Internal Medicine Specialist, Madinah maternity hospital, Almadina Almonawara, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Pub. Date: May 23, 2021

Cite this paper:
Hussam Mustafa Rawas, Mazen Alaadeen Nassar, Ammar Adnan AbuSeer, Abdullah Hussain Khan, Haytham Abdulsalam Nasrulden, Lamees Abdulelah subhi, Saleh Tariq Baaziz and Moatz Obaidulrahman Alhandi. Generalized Weakness in Intensive Care Unit: Review Article. American Journal of Medical Sciences and Medicine. 2021; 9(2):53-59. doi: 10.12691/ajmsm-9-2-4


Background: Muscle weakness is common in the surgical intensive care unit (ICU). Low muscle mass at ICU admission is a significant predictor of adverse outcomes. The consequences of ICU-acquired muscle weakness depend on the underlying mechanism. Severe perioperative acquired weakness that is associated with adverse outcomes (prolonged mechanical ventilation, increases in ICU length of stay, and mortality) occurs with persistent (time frame: days) activation of protein degradation pathways, decreases in the drive to the skeletal muscle, and impaired muscular homeostasis. Methods: In this article, we review the current state-of-the-art of the basic pathophysiology of nerve and muscle weakness after critical illness and explore the current literature on ICUAW with a special emphasis on the most important mechanisms of weakness. In addition to review our understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of ICUAW in the context of current knowledge of clinical risk factors and etiology. Results: ICU-AW can be caused by a critical illness polyneuropathy, acritical illness myopathy, or muscle disuse atrophy, alone or in combination. Its diagnosis requires both clinical assessment of muscle strength and complete electrophysiological evaluation of peripheral nerves and muscle Conclusion: ICU-AW can be prevented by early treatment of the underlying disease, goal-directed therapy, restrictive use of immobilizing medications, optimal nutrition, activating ventilatory modes, early rehabilitation, and preventive drug therapy.

muscle weakness ICU-acquired weakness

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