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Peripheral nerve conduction studies in patients with multiple organ failure
INTRODUCTION. The polyneuropathy of critical diseases that often accompanies multiple organ failure (MOF) is one of the various causes that leads to the death of these patients. AIMS. To evaluate the electrophysiological behaviour of peripheral nerves in patients with MOF. Subjects and methods. A prospective cross-sectional study was performed in 18 patients with MOF (the study group), 50 healthy subjects and 20 suffering from Guillain-Barré-Stroll-Landry syndrome (GBS) (the control groups). All of them were submitted to sensory and motor peripheral nerve conduction studies.
RESULTS. The aetiology of this syndrome was varied: 17 patients required mechanical ventilation and 15 had difficulty in weaning. The main electrophysiological alterations in the study group consisted in a drop in amplitude with prolonged latency and duration, and slowed conduction velocities for the sensory potentials of the median and posterior tibial nerves, while the lowered amplitude in motor nerve conduction was detected to a lesser degree and intensity. On comparing them with those obtained in GBS, statistically significant differences were found. The greatest electrophysiological alterations were detected in those who had difficulty in weaning -those who presented an unfavourable evolution.