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1.  Risk Factors for Delirium in Patients Undergoing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation 
Delirium is common following hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Early recognition and treatment have been shown to improve long term outcomes. We sought to investigate the relationship between potential risk-factors and the development of delirium following HSCT.
Fifty-four inpatients admitted for HSCT were assessed prospectively for delirium every 2-3 days through their inpatient stay using standardized delirium and neuropsychological measures. Patient’s self-reports of medical history, medical records, and neurocognitive and psychiatric assessments were used to identify risk factors. Both pre- and post-HSCT risk factors were examined.
Delirium incidence was 35% and occurred with highest frequency in the 2 weeks following transplant. The only pre-transplantation risk factors was lower oxygen saturation (p=0.003). Post-transplantation risk factors for delirium included higher creatinine (p<0.0001), higher blood urea nitrogen levels (p=0.005), lower creatinine clearance (p=0.0006), lower oxygen saturation (p=0.001), lower hemoglobin (p=0.04) and lower albumin (p=0.03). There was no observed association with level of cognitive performance, transplant type, disease severity, medical co-morbidity index, age or conditioning regimen.
Routine laboratory values can assist in the identification of high risk patients before delirium onset to improve early detection and treatment of delirium following HSCT.
PMCID: PMC4120828  PMID: 22860240
delirium; risk factors; cancer; hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation
2.  The Neuropsychological Course of Acute Delirium in Adult Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Patients 
Although delirium is a common medical comorbidity with altered cognition as its defining feature, few publications have addressed the neuropsychological prodrome, profile, and recovery of patients tested during delirium. We characterize neuropsychological performance in 54 hemapoietic stem cell/bone marrow transplantation (BMT) patients shortly before, during, and after delirium and in BMT patients without delirium and 10 healthy adults. Patients were assessed prospectively before and after transplantation using a brief battery. BMT patients with delirium performed more poorly than comparisons and those without delirium on cross-sectional and trend analyses. Deficits were in expected areas of attention and memory, but also in psychomotor speed and learning. The patients with delirium did not return to normative “average” on any test during observation. Most tests showed a mild decline in the visit before delirium, a sharp decline with delirium onset, and variable performance in the following days. This study adds to the few investigations of neuropsychological performance surrounding delirium and provides targets for monitoring and early detection; Trails A and B, RBANS Coding, and List Recall may be useful for delirium assessment.
PMCID: PMC3104596  PMID: 21183605
Bone marrow transplantation; Cognition; Cancer; Attention; Delirium
3.  Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy in adult cancer patients with delirium 
Psychiatry research  2011;191(2):128-132.
Delirium is associated with a host of negative outcomes, including increased risk of mortality, longer hospital stay, and poor long-term cognitive function. The pathophysiology of delirium is not well understood. Cancer patients undergoing a bone marrow transplant (BMT) are at high risk for developing delirium and Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (1H-MRS) could lead to better understanding of the delirium process.
Fourteen BMT patients and 10 controls completed 1H-MRS, positioned above the corpus callosum, shortly after delirium onset or at study end if no delirium occurred.
In the BMT-delirium group, statistically significantly elevated tCho/tCr was found in contrast to the BMT-no delirium group (p<0.05). The BMT–delirium group also showed statistically significantly lesser NAA/tCho compared to both controls (p=0.01) and the BMT–no delirium group (p=0.04).
Elevated choline and reduced NAA indicate inflammatory processes and white matter damage as well as neuronal metabolic impairment. Further research is needed to separate the choline peaks, as well as more detailed collection of medication regimens to determine whether a higher choline concentration is a function of the delirium process or cancer treatment effects.
PMCID: PMC3030637  PMID: 21227658
delirium; spectroscopy; choline; cancer; magnetic resonance imaging; cognition

Results 1-3 (3)