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NeuroRehabilitation. 2011;29(3):229-32. doi: 10.3233/NRE-2011-0697.

Critical illness polyneuropathy: a case report.

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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ankara Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Education and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey.


Critical illness polyneuropathy (CIP) is defined as a common complication of critically ilness patients who were admitted to the intensive care unit due to sepsis, multiple trauma and/or multi-organ failure. We aimed to present a patient who was diagnosed as CIP. He was admitted to our outpatient clinic due to weakness and pain in his lower extremities. He had been followed in an intensive care unit due to suicid five months ago. There were symmetrically and predominantly muscle weakness, sensory impairment, absence of deep tendon reflexes in his lower extremities. Electrophysiological evaluation demonstrated motor and sensory axonal distal polyneuropathy predominantly in lower extremities. At follow up, he had high fever, and elevated acute phase responses. Therefore source of infection was investigated and was suspected to a diagnosis of infective endocarditis. He was discharged to be hospitalized in cardiology clinic. With this case, we think that physiatrists should take into consideration a diagnosis of critical illness polyneuropathy in patients with symmetric motor weakness. In CIP, muscle weakness, sensory loss, neuropathic pain, and autonomic problems lengthened the rehabilitation period. Due to a diagnosis of infective endocarditis in our case, we point out that source of infection should be carefully investigated if there is acute phase responses in CIP patients even if during rehabilitation period.

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