Critical illness-associated limb and diaphragmatic weakness

Curr Opin Crit Care. 2024 Apr 1;30(2):121-130. doi: 10.1097/MCC.0000000000001135. Epub 2024 Jan 16.


Purpose of review: In the current review, we aim to highlight the evolving evidence on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of critical illness weakness (CIW) and critical illness associated diaphragmatic weakness (CIDW).

Recent findings: In the ICU, several risk factors can lead to CIW and CIDW. Recent evidence suggests that they have different pathophysiological mechanisms and impact on outcomes, although they share common risk factors and may overlap in several patients. Their diagnosis is challenging, because CIW diagnosis is primarily clinical and, therefore, difficult to obtain in the ICU population, and CIDW diagnosis is complex and not easily performed at the bedside. All of these issues lead to underdiagnosis of CIW and CIDW, which significantly increases the risk of complications and the impact on both short and long term outcomes. Moreover, recent studies have explored promising diagnostic techniques that are may be easily implemented in daily clinical practice. In addition, this review summarizes the latest research aimed at improving how to prevent and treat CIW and CIDW.

Summary: This review aims to clarify some uncertain aspects and provide helpful information on developing monitoring techniques and therapeutic interventions for managing CIW and CIDW.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Critical Illness*
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Muscle Weakness / etiology
  • Risk Factors