Delirium in Acute Stroke: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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Abstract

Background and Purpose—

Delirium is common in the early stage after hospitalization for an acute stroke. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the outcomes of acute stroke patients with delirium.

Methods—

We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Cochrane Library databases, and PsychInfo for relevant articles published in English up to September 2011. We included observational studies for review. Two reviewers independently assessed studies to determine eligibility, validity, and quality. The primary outcome was inpatient mortality and secondary outcomes were mortality at 12 months, institutionalization, and length of hospital stay.

Results—

Among 78 eligible studies, 10 studies (n=2004 patients) met the inclusion criteria. Stroke patients with delirium had higher inpatient mortality (OR, 4.71; 95% CI, 1.85–11.96) and mortality at 12 months (OR, 4.91; 95% CI, 3.18–7.6) compared to nondelirious patients. Patients with delirium also tended to stay longer in hospital compared to those who did not have delirium (mean difference, 9.39 days; 95% CI, 6.67–12.11) and were more likely to be discharged to a nursing homes or other institutions (OR, 3.39; 95% CI, 2.21–5.21).

Conclusions—

Stroke patients with development of delirium have unfavorable outcomes, particularly higher mortality, longer hospitalizations, and a greater degree of dependence after discharge. Early recognition and prevention of delirium may improve outcomes in stroke patients.

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