The Ochsner journal 17(1) 25-30
Incidence of delirium after liver transplantation (LT) has been reported to occur in 10%-47% of patients and is associated with increased hospital and intensive care unit lengths of stay and poor outcomes.
Our primary objective was to evaluate the incidence and predisposing risk factors for developing delirium after LT. Our secondary objectives were to describe how delirium is managed in patients after LT, to examine the utilization of resources associated with delirium after LT, and to analyze the outcomes of patients who were treated for delirium after LT.
In a population of 181 consecutive patients who received an LT, 38 (21.0%) developed delirium. In the multivariate analysis, delirium was associated with pretransplant use of antidepressants (odds ratio [OR] 3.34, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.29-8.70) and pretransplant hospital admission for encephalopathy (OR 4.39, 95% CI 1.77-10.9). Patients with delirium spent more time on mechanical ventilation (2.0 vs 1.3 days, P=0.008) and had longer intensive care unit stays (4.6 vs 2.7 days, P=0.008), longer hospital stays (27.6 vs 11.2 days, P=0.003), and higher 6-month mortality (13.2% vs 1.4%, P=0.003) than patients who did not develop delirium.
The presence of delirium is common after LT and is associated with high morbidity and mortality within the first 6 months posttransplant. Pretransplant factors independently associated with developing delirium after LT include prior use of antidepressants and pretransplant hospital admission for encephalopathy. Efforts should be made to identify patients at risk for delirium, as protocol-based management may improve outcomes in a cost-effective manner.