Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Crit Care Med. 2012 Jul;40(7):2182-9. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0b013e318250acdc.

The relationship between delirium duration, white matter integrity, and cognitive impairment in intensive care unit survivors as determined by diffusion tensor imaging: the VISIONS prospective cohort magnetic resonance imaging study*.

Author information

  • 1Center for Quality of Aging, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Medicine, Division of Allergy, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA. alessandro@gmail.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Evidence is emerging that delirium duration is a predictor of long-term cognitive impairment in intensive care unit survivors. Relationships between 1) delirium duration and brain white matter integrity, and 2) white matter integrity and long-term cognitive impairment are poorly understood and could be explored using magnetic resonance imaging.

DESIGN, SETTING, PATIENTS:

A two-center, prospective cohort study incorporating delirium monitoring, neuroimaging, and cognitive testing in intensive care unit survivors.

MEASUREMENTS:

Delirium was evaluated with the Confusion Assessment Method for the Intensive Care Unit and cognitive outcomes were tested at 3 and 12-month follow-up. Following the intensive care unit stay, fractional anisotropy, a measure of white matter integrity, was calculated quantitatively using diffusion tensor imaging with a 3-T magnetic resonance imaging scanner at hospital discharge and 3-month follow-up. We examined associations between 1) delirium duration and fractional anisotropy and 2) fractional anisotropy and cognitive outcomes using linear regression adjusted for age and sepsis.

RESULTS:

A total of 47 patients with a median age of 50 yrs completed the diffusion tensor imaging-magnetic resonance imaging protocol. Greater duration of delirium (3 vs. 0 days) was associated with lower fractional anisotropy (i.e., reduced fractional anisotropy = white matter disruption) in the genu (-0.02; p = .04) and splenium (-0.01; p = .02) of the corpus callosum and anterior limb of the internal capsule (-0.02; p =.01) at hospital discharge. These associations persisted at 3 months for the genu (-0.02; p =.02) and splenium (-0.01; p = .004). Lower fractional anisotropy in the anterior limb of internal capsule at discharge and in genu of corpus callosum at three months was associated with worse cognitive scores at 3 and 12 months.

CONCLUSIONS:

In this pilot investigation, delirium duration in the intensive care unit was associated with white matter disruption at both discharge and 3 months. Similarly, white matter disruption was associated with worse cognitive scores up to 12 months later. This hypothesis-generating investigation may help design future studies to explore these complex relationships in greater depth.

Comment in

  • Delirium: lost in connection*. [Crit Care Med. 2012]
PMID:
22584766
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3378755
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk