Predisposing factors for critical illness polyneuromyopathy in a multidisciplinary intensive care unit

Acta Neurol Scand. 2008 Sep;118(3):175-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.2008.00996.x. Epub 2008 Mar 18.


Objective: To investigate risk factors of critical illness polyneuromyopathy (CIPM) in a general multidisciplinary intensive care unit (ICU).

Patients and methods: Prospective observational study in a 28-bed university multidisciplinary ICU. Four hundred and seventy-four (323 M/151 F, age 55 +/- 19) consecutive patients were prospectively evaluated. All patients were assigned admission Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE II; 15 +/- 7) and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA; 6 +/- 3) scores and were subsequently evaluated for newly developed neuromuscular weakness. Other potential causes of new-onset weakness after ICU admission were excluded before CIPM was diagnosed.

Results: Forty-four (23.8%) of 185 patients developed generalized weakness that met the criteria for CIPM. Patients with CIPM had higher APACHE II (18.9 +/- 6.6 vs 15.6 +/- 6.4, P = 0.004) and SOFA scores (8.4 +/- 2.9 vs 7.1 +/- 2.9, P = 0.013). According to multivariate logistic regression analysis, the following risk factors were independently associated with the development of CIPM: severity of illness at the time of ICU admission, administration of aminoglycoside antibiotics and high blood glucose levels. Analysis according to severity of illness stratification revealed the emergence of Gram (-) bacteremia as the most important independent predisposing factor for CIPM development in less severely ill patients.

Conclusions: CIPM has a high incidence in the ICU setting. Our study revealed the association of aminoglycosides, hyperglycemia and illness severity with CIPM development, as well as the association between Gram (-) bacteremia and development of CIPM in less severely ill patient population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aminoglycosides / adverse effects
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects
  • Bacteremia / complications
  • Blood Glucose
  • Female
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / complications
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / complications
  • Intensive Care Units / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polyneuropathies / epidemiology*
  • Polyneuropathies / etiology*
  • Polyneuropathies / physiopathology
  • Risk Factors


  • Aminoglycosides
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Blood Glucose