Background: Diaphragm atrophy is observed in mechanically ventilated patients. However, the atrophy is not investigated in other respiratory muscles. Therefore, we conducted a two-center prospective observational study to evaluate changes in diaphragm and intercostal muscle thickness in mechanically ventilated patients.
Methods: Consecutive adult patients who were expected to be mechanically ventilated longer than 48 h in the ICU were enrolled. Diaphragm and intercostal muscle thickness were measured on days 1, 3, 5, and 7 with ultrasonography. The primary outcome was the direction of change in muscle thickness, and the secondary outcomes were the relationship of changes in muscle thickness with patient characteristics.
Results: Eighty patients (54 males and 26 females; mean age, 68 ± 14 years) were enrolled. Diaphragm muscle thickness decreased, increased, and remained unchanged in 50 (63%), 15 (19%), and 15 (19%) patients, respectively. Intercostal muscle thickness decreased, increased, and remained unchanged in 48 (60%), 15 (19%), and 17 (21%) patients, respectively. Decreased diaphragm or intercostal muscle thickness was associated with prolonged mechanical ventilation (median difference (MD), 3 days; 95% CI (confidence interval), 1–7 and MD, 3 days; 95% CI, 1–7, respectively) and length of ICU stay (MD, 3 days; 95% CI, 1–7 and MD, 3 days; 95% CI, 1–7, respectively) compared with the unchanged group. After adjusting for sex, age, and APACHE II score, they were still associated with prolonged mechanical ventilation (hazard ratio (HR), 4.19; 95% CI, 2.14–7.93 and HR, 2.87; 95% CI, 1.53–5.21, respectively) and length of ICU stay (HR, 3.44; 95% CI, 1.77–6.45 and HR, 2.58; 95% CI, 1.39–4.63, respectively) compared with the unchanged group.
Conclusions: Decreased diaphragm and intercostal muscle thickness were frequently seen in patients under mechanical ventilation. They were associated with prolonged mechanical ventilation and length of ICU stay.
Journal of Intensive Care
BioMed Central|Springer Nature
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