Objectives: To determine the incidence and outcomes of intensive care unit-acquired neuromyopathy and to investigate the role of methylprednisolone in survivors of persistent acute lung injury.
Design: Secondary analysis of completed randomized placebo-controlled trial.
Setting: Twenty-five hospitals in the NHLBI ARDS Network.
Patients and participants: Patients enrolled in the ARDS Network study of methylprednisolone versus placebo for persistent ARDS who survived 60 days or to hospital discharge.
Measurements and results: One hundred and twenty-eight study patients survived 60 days. Forty-three (34%) of these patients had evidence by chart review of ICU-acquired neuromyopathy, which was associated with prolonged mechanical ventilation, return to mechanical ventilation, and delayed return to home after critical illness. Treatment with methylprednisolone was not significantly associated with an increase in risk of neuromyopathy (OR 1.5; 95% CI 0.7-3.2).
Conclusions: ICU-acquired-neuromyopathy is common among survivors of persistent ARDS and is associated with poorer clinical outcomes. We did not find a significant association between methylprednisolone treatment and neuromyopathy. Limitations of this study preclude definitive conclusions about the causal relationship between corticosteroids and ICU-acquired neuromuscular dysfunction.