The confusion assessment method for the intensive care unit in patients with cirrhosis

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5 Scopus citations


In the intensive care unit (ICU), delirium is routinely measured with the widely-used, validated Confusion Assessment Method for the ICU (CAM-ICU), but CAM-ICU has not been studied in patients with cirrhosis. We studied a group of patients with cirrhosis to determine the relationship between delirium measured by CAM-ICU and clinical outcomes. Consecutive patients with cirrhosis admitted to the ICU from 2009 to 2012 were included in a retrospective cohort study. Patients were screened twice daily for coma and delirium during their ICU stay using the Richmond Agitation Sedation Scale (RASS) and CAM-ICU. The association between delirium/coma and mortality was determined using multiple logistic regression. RASS and CAM-ICU were also compared to a retrospective assessment of hepatic encephalopathy (HE). Of 91 patients with cirrhosis, 26 (28.6 %) developed delirium/coma. RASS/CAM-ICU had fair agreement with the HE assessment (κ 0.38). Patients with delirium/coma had numerically greater mortality in-hospital (23.1 vs. 7.7 %, p = 0.07) and at 90 days (30.8 vs. 18.5 %, p = 0.26), and they also had longer hospital length of stay (median 19.5 vs. 6 days, p < 0.001). Delirium/coma was associated with increased inpatient mortality, independent of disease severity (unadjusted OR 3.6; 95 % CI, 0.99–13.1; MELD-adjusted OR 5.4; 95 % CI, 1.3–23.8; acute physiology score-adjusted OR 2.2; 95 % CI, 0.53–8.9). Delirium/coma was also associated with longer length of stay after adjusting for disease severity. In critically ill patients with cirrhosis, delirium/coma as measured by the RASS and CAM-ICU is associated with increased mortality and hospital length of stay. For these patients, these measures provide valuable information and may be useful tools for clinical care. RASS and CAM-ICU need to be compared to HE-specific measures in future studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1063-1071
Number of pages9
JournalMetabolic Brain Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015


  • Delirium
  • Hepatic encephalopathy
  • Intensive care unit
  • Liver cirrhosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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