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Revista Uruguaya de Medicina Interna

Print version ISSN 2393-6797On-line version ISSN 2393-6797


LLORENS, Mario et al. Clinical yield of computed tomography brain scan in patients with delirium. Rev. Urug. Med. Int. [online]. 2016, vol.1, n.2, pp.4-10. ISSN 2393-6797.

ABSTRACT   Objectives: To determine the yield of computed tomography brain scan in the etiological diagnosis of delirium, and to determine which factors are predictors of the intracranial cause of delirium. Material and methods: Cross-sectional study, observational. Inclusion criteria: Patients diagnosed with delirium that have undergone a cranial tomography as part of etiological assessment. Exclusion criteria: Factors that prevent the interview. The CAM (Confusion Assessment Method) has been used as a diagnostic tool. Results: 114 patients were included in the study. The tomography confirmed the cause of delirium in 18% of the cases. The variables that were associated with altered tomography were focal neurological deficit and a history of head trauma. 2.6% of patients’ tomography confirmed an intracranial cause of delirium in spite of not having focal neurological signs or history of head trauma. Conclusions: The tomography is a valuable tool, but it should not be made urgently, routinely, in all patients with delirium. The tomography should be requested urgently when there is a history of head trauma, findings of focal neurological signs or a precipitating factor is not found. It should be noted that in elderly patients with previous cognitive impairment, the most common precipitating factors of delirium are nonintracranial.

Keywords : delirium; confusional syndrome; computed tomography brain scan.

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