Donate to Advance Research and Education
With your help, the American Neuromuscular Foundation can fund research that will improve the lives of patients with neuromuscular diseases.

A Message to Patients Regarding Covid-19
We know the Covid-19 pandemic is causing immeasurable stress to NM disease patients. Click the link below to read our full message to patients everywhere.

Critical Illness Myopathy

What is Critical Illness Myopathy?

Critical illness myopathy is not well understood, but is becoming recognized as a clinical syndrome that typically occurs in the intensive care unit among patients who have been treated with multiple drugs. The most common clinical signs of the disease are diffuse weakness and a failure to wean from mechanical ventilation.

Who gets Critical Illness Myopathy?

Critical illness myopathy is a disease of limb and respiratory muscles, and it is observed during treatment in the intensive care unit. This sometimes may accompany critical illness polyneuropathy. In addition to the critical illness (severe trauma or infection), muscle relaxant drugs and corticosteroid medications may be contributing factors.

How is Critical Illness Myopathy diagnosed?

Electrophysiological studies (such as needle EMG or nerve conduction studies) and muscle biopsy may both be necessary to diagnose critical illness myopathy.

How is Critical Illness Myopathy treated?

Early and complete recovery may occur with succesful treament of the critical illness, and withdrawal of the medications.