Neuromodulation for Prevention of Intensive Care Unit Acquired Weakness and Post Intensive Care Syndrome


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Post-intensive care syndrome (PICS) encompasses persistent physical, cognitive, and psychiatric symptoms following ICU discharge, commonly triggered by serious conditions such as respiratory failure, sepsis, and mechanical ventilation. PICS prevalence is reported to be as high as 84% up to 12 months in patients with at least 2 days spent in the ICU or with mechanical ventilatory support. As a consequence, many patients do not return to they former level of function for weeks, months and even years.

Muscular affection manifested by muscle weakness is particularly seen and is provoked by a combination of damage to the nerves or directly the muscles fibers. This affection is referred to as CU-Acquired Weakness (ICUAW). One third of the time, lower extremities are affected, often due to prolonged immobilization or sedation. Evidence suggests that early mobilization reduces the incidence of ICUAW at discharge and improves the number of patients able of stand. However achieving this early intervention is not always feasible due to time or personnel constraints.

The purpose of the study is to examine the effectiveness of lower extremity neuromodulation for prevention of muscle deconditioning in patients admitted to the ICU.

Study Overview

Start Date
August 28, 2023
Completion Date
August 28, 2025
Date Posted
February 2, 2024
Accepts Healthy Volunteers?


Full Address
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, Texas 77030, United States


Minimum Age (years)
Eligibility Criteria
Inclusion Criteria:

Any patient older than 18 years old admitted to the ICU within 2 days. Patient can be intubated with ventilatory assistance or not.

Exclusion Criteria:

Less than 48 hours of ICU stay Major foot problems such as active lower extremity wounds, major foot deformity (e.g., Charcot Foot), and/or previous major amputations Demand-type cardiac pacemaker, implanted defibrillator, or other implanted electronic devices Any conditions that may interfere with outcomes or increase the risk of the use neuromodulation therapy based on the judgement of clinicians

Study Contact Info

Study Contact Name
Bijan Najafi, PhD; Maria Noun, BS
Study Contact Phone

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Other Details

FDA Regulated Drug?
FDA Regulated Device?
Detailed Description
The purpose of the study is to examine feasibility and acceptability of lower extremity neuromodulation in patients at risk of ICUAW. This is a proof Randomized controlled trial (RCT) study for prevention. Eligible participants will be recruited from Baylor St Luke's Medical Center (Houston, Texas).

Participants will be randomized to intervention group (IG) or control group (CG). The entire cohort will receive daily neuromodulation in the lower extremity (Gastrocnemius muscle, Achilles tendon) up to 1 hour. The therapy will be provided with a neuromodulation device (Tennant Biomodulator PRO®, AVAZZIA, Inc.) that works on high voltage alternative pulsed current. The device will be functional for the IG and non-functional for the CG.
NCTid (if applicable)