Background: Critical illness myopathy (CIM) and polyneuropathy (CIP) alone or in combination (CIP/CIM) are frequent complications in intensive care unit (ICU) patients. There is no evidence that differentiating between CIP and CIM has any impact on patients’ prognosis.
Methods: 1-year prospective cohort study of patients developing CIP, CIM, or combined CIP and CIM during ICU stay.
Results: Twenty-eight out of 92 (30.4%) patients developed electrophysiological signs of CIP and/or CIM during the ICU stay, which persisted in 18 patients at ICU discharge. At hospital discharge, diagnoses in the 15 survivors were CIM in six cases, CIP in four, combined CIP and CIM in three, and undetermined in two uncooperative patients. During 1-year follow-up, of six patients with CIM, 1 patient died and 5 recovered completely within three (3 patients) to six months (2 patients). Of three patients with CIP/CIM, 1 died, 1 recovered, and 1 with residual CIP remained tetraplegic. Of 4 patients with CIP, 1 recovered, 2 had persisting muscle weakness, and 1 remained tetraparetic.
Conclusion: CIM has a better prognosis than CIP. Differential diagnosis is important to predict long-term outcome in ICU patients.