Early detection of evolving critical illness myopathy with muscle velocity recovery cycles

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Objective: To investigate the sensitivity of muscle velocity recovery cycles (MVRCs) for detecting altered membrane properties in critically ill patients, and to compare this to conventional nerve conduction studies (NCS) and quantitative electromyography (qEMG). Methods: Twenty-four patients with intensive care unit acquired weakness (ICUAW) and 34 healthy subjects were prospectively recruited. In addition to NCS (median, ulnar, peroneal, tibial and sural nerves) and qEMG (biceps brachii, vastus medialis and anterior tibial muscles), MVRCs with frequency ramp were recorded from anterior tibial muscle. Results: MVRC and frequency ramp parameters showed abnormal muscle fiber membrane properties with up to 100% sensitivity and specificity. qEMG showed myopathy in 15 patients (63%) while polyneuropathy was seen in 3 (13%). Decreased compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitude (up to 58%) and absent F-waves (up to 75%) were frequent, but long duration CMAPs were only seen in one patient with severe myopathy. Conclusions: Altered muscle fiber membrane properties can be detected in patients with ICUAW not yet fulfilling diagnostic criteria for critical illness myopathy (CIM). MVRCs may therefore serve as a tool for early detection of evolving CIM. Significance: CIM is often under-recognized by intensivists, and large-scale longitudinal studies are needed to determine its incidence and pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Volume132
Issue6
Pages (from-to)1347-1357
Number of pages11
ISSN1388-2457
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology

    Research areas

  • Critical illness myopathy, Critical illness polyneuropathy, Electromyography, Intensive care unit acquired weakness, Muscle velocity recovery cycles, Nerve conduction studies

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