Intensive care unit acquired weakness (ICUAW) is now a well-known entity complicating critical illness. It increases mortality and in the critical illness survivor it is associated with physical disability, substantially increased health resource utilisation and healthcare costs. Skeletal muscle wasting is a key driver of ICUAW and physical functional outcomes in both the short and long term. To date, there is no intervention that can universally and consistently prevent muscle loss during critical illness, or enhance its recovery following intensive care unit discharge, to improve physical function. Clinical trials of early mobilisation or exercise training, or enhanced nutritional support have generated inconsistent results and we have no effective pharmacological interventions. This review will delineate our current understanding of the mechanisms underpinning the development and persistence of skeletal muscle loss and dysfunction in the critically ill individual, highlighting recent discoveries and clinical observations, and utilisation of this knowledge in the development of novel therapeutics.
- critical care
Statistics from Altmetric.com
Contributors All authors contributed in the writing of the manuscript and/or have provided useful comments and additional text to improve the manuscript. Critical decisions regarding important intellectual content was undertaken by all authors.
Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.