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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 86-89

Factors associated with delirium tremens: A retrospective chart study

Department of Psychiatry, Father Muller Medical College , Mangalore, India

Correspondence Address:
P John Mathai
Department of Psychiatry, Father Muller Medical College , Mangalore
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0975-9727.118234

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Objectives: Delirium tremens is the most severe on the spectrum of alcohol withdrawal syndromes. The mortality rate in this condition has been reported as high as 20%; however, with appropriate diagnosis and prompt treatment, mortality has been reduced to 1%. We studied the sociodemographic, clinical and laboratory data in alcohol dependant patients who developed delirium during the period of abstinence and compared them with patients who had uncomplicated withdrawal states. Materials and Methods: This investigation was done in the deaddiction centre, department of psychiatry, Father Muller Medical College Mangalore. A retrospective chart review spanning a period of 8 months (Jan-Aug 2011) was done to select 60 consecutive patients with alcohol dependence syndrome without medical or other psychiatric co-morbidity (excluding nicotine dependence). Socio demographic, clinical and laboratory data comprising haematological and biochemical parameters at the time of admission were compared between 30 alcohol dependents who developed delirium and 30 alcohol dependents who had uncomplicated withdrawal state. Results: No statistical significance is observed on sociodemographic data between the groups. Early onset dependence were noted to be developing delirium in withdrawal period. Elevated bilirubin levels and SGOT levels are significantly more in delirious patients. Statistically significant higher blood glucose levels were seen in patients with uncomplicated withdrawal. Conclusion: Patients with elevated bilirubin and transaminases, and early onset alcohol dependence are prone to develop delirium during alcohol withdrawal states.

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