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Open Badges Commentary

Should we abandon manual muscle strength testing in the ICU?

Greet Hermans1 and Rik Gosselink2*

Author Affiliations

1 Medical Intensive Care Unit, Department of General Internal Medicine, University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium

2 Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Herestraat 49, B3000 Leuven, Belgium

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Critical Care 2011, 15:127  doi:10.1186/cc10038

See related research by Hough et al.,

Published: 1 March 2011


Intensive-care-unit-acquired weakness is a major complication in critically ill patients. The paper by Hough and coworkers suggests that the current method of manual muscle strength testing with the Medical Research Council sum score is of limited value in the intensive care unit. However, their results raise a number of questions and provide important lessons for implementation of such evaluations in the intensive care unit.