Multimodal assessment of intensive care unit-acquired weakness in severe stroke patients

Inan B., Bekircan-Kurt C. E., Ergul-Ulger Z., Yilmaz M., Dikmen Z. G., Arsava E. M., ...More

Acta Neurologica Belgica, vol.122, no.5, pp.1313-1321, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 122 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s13760-022-02009-9
  • Journal Name: Acta Neurologica Belgica
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.1313-1321
  • Keywords: Intensive care unit-acquired weakness, Electromyography, Muscle biopsy, Respiratory complex activities
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022, The Author(s) under exclusive licence to Belgian Neurological Society.Background: Intensive care unit-acquired weakness (ICUAW) defines generalized muscle weakness seen in critically ill patients in the absence of other causative factors. Herein, we aimed to evaluate ICUAW in stroke patients by electrodiagnostic testing, histopathology, and assessment of respiratory complex activities (RCA), to define the frequency of ICUAW in this patient group, and to reach new parameters for early prediction and diagnosis. Methods: We prospectively recruited twenty-four severe acute stroke patients during a sixteen-month period. In addition to serial nerve conduction studies (NCS), we performed muscle biopsy and RCA analysis on the non-paretic side when ICUAW developed. Patients undergoing orthopedic surgery without metabolic and neuromuscular diseases constituted the control group for RCA. Survival and longitudinal data were analyzed by joint modeling to determine the relationship between electrophysiological parameters and ICUAW diagnosis. Results: Eight patients (33%) developed ICUAW, and six of them within the first two weeks. Extensor digitorum brevis, abductor digiti minimi (ADM), rectus femoris and vastus medialis (VM) compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitudes showed a significant decrease in the ICUAW group. VM CMAP amplitude (BIC = 358.1574) and ADM CMAP duration (BIC = 361.1028) were the best-correlated parameters with ICUAW diagnosis. The most informative electrophysiological findings during the entire study were obtained within the first 11 days. Muscle biopsies revealed varying degrees of type 2 fiber atrophy. Complex I (p = 0.003) and IV (p = 0.018) activities decreased in patients with ICUAW compared to controls. Conclusion: VM CMAP amplitude and ADM CMAP duration correlate well with ICUAW diagnosis, and may aid in the early diagnosis.