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BACKGROUND:In many countries, in-hospital survival from tetanus is increasing, but long-term outcome is unknown. In high-income settings, critical illness is associated with muscle wasting and poor functional outcome, but there are few data from resource-limited settings. In this study we aimed to assess muscle wasting and long-term functional outcome in adults with tetanus. METHODS:In a prospective observational study involving 80 adults with tetanus, sequential rectus femoris ultrasound measurements were made at admission, 7 days, 14 days and hospital discharge. Functional outcome was assessed at hospital discharge using the Timed Up and Go test, Clinical Frailty Score, Barthel Index and RAND 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) and 3 and 6 months after discharge using the SF-36 and Barthel Index. RESULTS:Significant muscle wasting occurred between hospital admission and discharge (p<0.01), particularly in severe disease, where a median 23.49% (interquartile range 10.01-26.07) reduction in rectus femoris cross-sectional area occurred in those with severe (Ablett grades 3 and 4) disease. Muscle mass at discharge was related to objective and subjective measures of physical and emotional function at discharge and 3 and 6 months after discharge. In patients >70 y of age, functional recovery at 6 months was reduced compared with younger patients. Hospital-acquired infection and age were risk factors for muscle wasting. CONCLUSIONS:Significant muscle wasting during hospitalization occurred in patients with tetanus, the extent of which correlates with functional outcome.

Original publication

DOI

10.1093/trstmh/trz055

Type

Journal

Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Publication Date

24/07/2019

Addresses

Hospital for Tropical Diseases, 764 Vo Van Kiet, Quan 5, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam.