Sarcopenia in critically ill patients

J Anesth. 2016 Oct;30(5):884-90. doi: 10.1007/s00540-016-2211-4. Epub 2016 Jul 4.


Sarcopenia occurring as a primary consequence of aging and secondary due to certain medical problems including chronic disease, malnutrition and inactivity is a progressive generalized loss of skeletal muscle mass, strength and function. The prevalence of sarcopenia increases with aging (approximately 5-13 % in the sixth and seventh decades). However, data showing the prevalence and clinical outcomes of sarcopenia in intensive care units (ICUs) are limited. A similar condition to sarcopenia in the ICU, called ICU-acquired weakness (ICU-AW), has been reported more frequently. Here, we aim to examine the importance of sarcopenia, especially ICU-AW, in ICU patients via related articles in Medline.

Keywords: Critical illness; Intensive care unit; Intensive care unit-acquired weakness; Sarcopenia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Critical Illness / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Sarcopenia / complications
  • Sarcopenia / epidemiology
  • Sarcopenia / therapy*