Critical illness myopathy

Drug induced myopathy is not uncommon in critically ill patients. Steroid induced myopathy is less common as the indications for high dose steroids have been reduced. Muscle relaxants may have a prolonged effect and may be potentiated by p2 agonists. Muscle histological studies have demonstrated abnormalities (fibre atrophy, mitochondrial defects, myopathy and necrosis) which could not be associated with steroid or muscle relaxant therapy. Myopathy may cause renal damage via myoglobinuria. Critical illness myopathy is associated with various forms of muscle degeneration but is usually self-limiting. Recovery may take weeks to years.

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