Critical illness polyneuromyopathy, a complication of critical illness, is a primary axonal degeneration of motor and sensory fibers that leads to skeletal muscle weakness. It significantly contributes to the unexplained difficulty in weaning from mechanical ventilation and to their prolonged rehabilitation and poor quality of life after discharge. This article will discuss the diagnosis of critical illness polyneuromyopathy, identify risk factors, review several pathomechanisms that have been proposed, and discuss the implications for practice.

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