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Psychosomatics. 2007 May-Jun;48(3):253-7.

Subtypes of pediatric delirium: a treatment algorithm.

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  • 1Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Stanford Univ. School of Medicine, Lucile Salter Pasckard Children's Hospital, Palo Alto, CA 94305, USA.


Delirium in adult populations of hospitalized patients has been well characterized into hyperactive, hypoactive, and mixed subtypes. The degree to which these subtypes apply to pediatric populations has yet to be fully demonstrated. In this case report, the authors present two cases of delirium that serve as examples of the hyperactive and hypoactive/mixed types and then discuss treatment. They find marked differences in the response of different delirium subtypes to haloperidol and risperidone and theorize as to the neurochemical pathways by which these pharmacological agents might work. This framework provides an algorithm for the treatment of pediatric delirium.

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