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 successful treatment of the critical illness, and withdrawal of the medications.

Help Fund Research
The American Neuromuscular Foundation (ANF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to STRENGTHENING the global effort to CURE neuromuscular disease.

The foundation funds important research and helps support education through awards and fellowship funding. Donate today and 100% of your donation will be used to support these initiatives.


Donate to the ANF
Find Support

AANEM's membership and accredited laboratory directories can help patients find qualified professionals for diagnosis and treatment.

Find a Doctor Find an Accredited Lab