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Am J Psychiatry. 1988 Nov;145(11):1384-90.

Cerebral blood flow during delirium tremens and related clinical states studied with xenon-133 inhalation tomography.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark.


The regional cerebral blood flow of 12 patients with severe alcohol withdrawal reactions (delirium tremens or impending delirium tremens) was measured during the acute state before treatment and after recovery. Greater cerebral blood flow was significantly correlated with visual hallucinations and agitation during the acute withdrawal reaction. The results suggest that delirium tremens and related clinical states represent a type of acute brain syndrome mainly characterized by CNS hyperexcitability.

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