Article Abstract

No association between systemic complement activation and intensive care unit-acquired weakness

Authors: Esther Witteveen, Luuk Wieske, Friso M. de Beer, Nicole P. Juffermans, Camiel Verhamme, Marcus J. Schultz, Ivo N. van Schaik, Janneke Horn, on behalf of the BASIC study group

Abstract

Background: The main risk factors for intensive care unit-acquired weakness (ICU-AW) are sepsis, the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) and multiple organ dysfunction. These risk factors are associated with systemic complement activation. We hypothesized that critically ill patients who develop ICU-AW have increased systemic complement activation compared to critically ill patients who do not develop ICU-AW.
Methods: Complement activation products C3b/c, C4b/c and C5a were measured in plasma of ICU patients with mechanical ventilation for ≥48 hours. Samples were collected at admission to the ICU and for 6 consecutive days. ICU-AW was defined by a mean Medical Research Council (MRC) score <4. We compared the level of complement activation products between patients who did and who did not develop ICU-AW.
Results: Muscle strength measurements and complement assays were available in 27 ICU patients, of whom 13 patients developed ICU-AW. Increased levels of C4b/c were seen in all patients. Neither admission levels, nor maximum, minimum and mean levels of complement activation products were different between patients who did and did not develop ICU-AW.
Conclusions: Complement activation is seen in critically ill patients, but is not different between patients who did and who did not develop ICU-AW.