Intensive care unit-acquired weakness: early diagnosis, symptomatology and prognosis
During admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), many critically ill patients develop generalized muscle weakness, a condition called intensive care unit-acquired weakness (ICU-AW). ICU-AW can be caused by muscle problems, peripheral nerve problems or a combination of both. As the name of the condition implies, the hallmark symptom is muscle weakness, but also non-motor signs and symptoms, such as sensory and autonomic deficits, may be part of ICU-AW. The aims of the research described in this thesis are to investigate whether ICU-AW can be identified early after ICU admission, to investigate the non-motor signs and symptoms of ICU-AW and to investigate the long-term impact of ICU-AW on survival and physical functioning.