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NMES study

Laatste wijziging: 24 January 2022

Efficiency of electro muscle stimulation to prevent muscle loss in Intensive Care patients


Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Luc van Loon, Researcher: Dr. Marlou Dirks


Hospitalized Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients experience a rapid loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength during the first week of admission. The loss of muscle mass predisposes to the development of insulin resistance and has been associated with greater mortality and reduced post-operative survival. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) has been proposed as an effective and feasible interventional strategy to counteract the loss of muscle mass in critically ill patients who are confined to their bed due to intubation.


The goal of this study is to assess the impact of twice-daily NMES on muscle mass loss in sedated male ICU patients. Due to massive skeletal muscle mass loss in sedated ICU patients and the proposed benefits of daily NMES to attenuate muscle atrophy, this study will be of major clinical relevance to all sedated ICU patients.



  • Dirks ML, Hansen D, Van Assche A, Dendale P, Van Loon LJC. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation prevents muscle wasting in critically ill comatose patients. Clinical Science. 2015; 128 (6): 357-365.