Critical illness polyneuropathy/critical illness myopathy (CIP/CIM) is a major cause of mortality and long-term morbidity in critically ill patients, but the true incidence and prevalence of these syndromes are not known. Hermans and colleagues show that when intensive insulin therapy is used as part of routine clinical practice in the intensive care unit, the incidence of CIP/CIM as determined by electrophysiologic testing is reduced. Our understanding of the mechanisms responsible for inducing prolonged weakness in intensive care unit patients is limited, and the role of hyperglycemia in modulating these processes is unknown. Intensive insulin therapy currently remains the only effective therapeutic intervention that has been shown to reduce the incidence of CIP/CIM.

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Published in Critical Care, v. 13, 125.

© 2009 BioMed Central Ltd

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