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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Biochemical Predictors of Delirium Tremens in Patients in Alcohol Withdrawal

To study whether routine blood parameters in patients with alcohol syndrome predict the risk of developing delirium tremens.                    

Biochemical parameters were collected and analysed in 212 patients attending a psychiatry department for inpatient alcohol detoxification treatment.

 Differences between those who did, and did not, develop delirium were observed in baseline platelet count , total leucocyte count , red cell distribution width , serum bilirubin , aspirate amino transferase (AST)  and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) . Baseline platelet count predicted the development of delirium.

Baseline platelet count was an independent risk factor for delirium tremens. Serum AST  and total WBC count , although not significant as independent risk factors, showed high specificity and predictive value in conjunction with low platelet count and/or previous history of delirium tremens. A normal baseline platelet count nearly rules out development of delirium tremens in patients with alcohol withdrawal in this population.

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