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Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria

Print version ISSN 0004-282XOn-line version ISSN 1678-4227


NEVES, AFONSO CARLOS et al. The diagnosis of delirium in 80 emergency unit patients. Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. [online]. 1998, vol.56, n.2, pp.176-183. ISSN 0004-282X.

We evaluated the initial and final diagnosis of 80 patients with delirium arriving at the emergence unit of a university hospital in a large Brazilian city over a period of 30 months up to December 1991. The diagnosis was based on the DSM-IIIR criteria. Patients with a known history of head trauma or epileptic seizure and patients younger than 13 years were excluded. Only patients with a disease of up to 7 days were included.The patients were subdivided into four etiologic groups: vascular; associated with the use of alcohol; infectious-parasitic; miscellaneous.The results showed a rate of correct diagnosis ranging from 65 to 80% with the use of kappa test (standard good to excelent). Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive and negative predictive values had results showing different conditions for initial diagnosis in each group. This study can help the initial diagnosis of delirium and the choice for diagnostic testing.

Keywords : delirium; diagnosis; acute confusional state.

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