Diaphragm and Pectoral Muscle Atrophy in ICU

Ultrasound was used to serially assess diaphragm and pectoral muscles in critical illness.

“Diaphragm and pectoral atrophy occurred in 48% and 29%, respectively, and was associated with septic shock (diaphragm) and steroid use (pectoral); atrophy of the two muscle types appears unrelated.”

The authors further note: “The diaphragm displayed clinically significant atrophy during the first 5 days of critical illness, especially in patients with septic shock, organ failure, or invasive mechanical ventilation. Given the small sample size, the study did not detect a link between atrophy of the diaphragm and clinical outcomes. Pectoral atrophy seemed confined to patients treated with steroids, and was associated with a poor outcome“.

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