Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Diagnostic criteria of Delirium

Wednesday June 28, 2006
Diagnostic criteria of Delirium

Q: What are 4 basic criteria to label patient as having Delirium?

A: Per American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th ed. (DSM-IV), Patient is having delirium if

1. Disturbance of consciousness (eg, reduced clarity of awareness of the environment) with reduced ability to focus, sustain, or shift attention.

2. A change in cognition such as memory deficit, disorientation, language disturbance (or the development of a perceptual disturbance that is not better accounted for by a preexisting, established, or evolving dementia).

3. The disturbance develops over a short period of time (usually hours) and tends to fluctuate during the course of the day.

4. Disturbance caused by a general medical condition or substance intoxication or medication use.

Related website: (must see for intensivists)

Related previous pearls:
Zolpidem-Induced Delirium ,
Amiodarone Neurotoxicity

References: click to get abstract/article

An Empirical Study of Different Diagnostic Criteria for Delirium Among Elderly Medical Inpatients - J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci 15:200-207, May 2003
Delirium in Elderly Patients - Focus 3:320-332 (2005)
3. Delirium in Older Persons - N. Engl. J. Med., March 16, 2006; 354(11): 1157 - 1165
Delirium -
Delirium - American Family Physician® Vol. 67/No. 5 (March 1, 2003)