Assessment of delirium

Last reviewed: 3 Jun 2022
Last updated: 13 May 2022

Summary

Differentials

Common

  • Dementia
  • Pain
  • Stroke and transient ischaemic attack
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Acute systemic infection
  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Hyperglycaemia
  • Hypoxia
  • Hypercapnia
  • Acute urinary obstruction
  • Medication- or illicit drug-related
  • Alcoholic ketoacidosis
  • Hepatic encephalopathy
  • Renal failure
  • Hypernatraemia
  • Hyponatraemia
  • Hypercalcaemia
  • Meningitis/encephalitis
  • Brain tumour
  • Post-ictal state
  • Dehydration (volume depletion)
  • Constipation
Full details

Uncommon

  • Traumatic head injury
  • Adrenal crisis
  • Thyrotoxicosis
  • Myxoedema coma
  • Brain abscess
  • Neurosyphilis
  • Wernicke's encephalopathy
Full details

Contributors

Authors

Margaret Pisani, MD, MPH

Associate Professor

Yale University School of Medicine

New Haven

CT

Disclosures

MP declares that she has no competing interests.

Acknowledgements

Dr Margaret Pisani would like to gratefully acknowledge David M. Dosa, a previous contributor to this topic.

Disclosures

DMD declares that he has no competing interests.

Peer reviewers

Marquis Foreman, PhD, RN, FAAN

Professor and Associate Dean for Nursing Science Studies

College of Nursing

University of Illinois at Chicago

IL

Disclosures

MF declares that he has no competing interests.

Andrew Parfitt, MBBS, FFAEM

Clinical Director

Acute Medicine

Associate Medical Director

Consultant Emergency Medicine

Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

Clinical Lead and Consultant

Accident Emergency Medicine

St Thomas' Hospital

London

UK

Disclosures

AP declares that he has no competing interests.

  • Guidelines

    • Risk reduction and management of delirium: a national clinical guideline
    • Delirium: prevention, diagnosis and management
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