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Whole blood thiamine, intravenous thiamine supplementation and delirium occurrence in the intensive care unit: retrospective cohort analyses

Mumin, M. A., McKenzie, C. A., Page, V. J. , Hadfield, D., Aitken, L. M. ORCID: 0000-0001-5722-9090, Hanks, F., Cunningham, E., Blackwood, B., Van Dellen, E., Slooter, A. J. C., Grocott, M. P. W., McAuley, D. F. & Spronk, P. E. (2024). Whole blood thiamine, intravenous thiamine supplementation and delirium occurrence in the intensive care unit: retrospective cohort analyses. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy, doi: 10.1007/s11096-023-01690-x


Background: Thiamine di-phosphate is an essential cofactor in glucose metabolism, glutamate transformation and acetylcholinesterase activity, pathways associated with delirium occurrence. We hypothesised that a deficiency in whole blood thiamine and intravenous thiamine supplementation could impact delirium occurrence.

Aim: To establish whether a deficiency in whole blood thiamine and/or intravenous thiamine supplementation within 72 h of intensive care admission is associated with delirium occurrence.

Method: The first dataset was secondary analysis of a previous study in an intensive care unit in the Netherlands, reported in 2017. The second dataset contained consecutive intensive care admissions 2 years before (period 1: October 2014 to October 2016) and after (period 2: April 2017 to April 2019) routine thiamine supplementation was introduced within 72 h of admission. Delirium was defined as a positive Confusion Assessment Method-Intensive Care Unit score(s) in 24 h.

Results: Analysis of the first dataset (n = 57) using logistic regression showed no relationship between delirium and sepsis or whole blood thiamine, but a significant association with age (p = 0.014). In the second dataset (n = 3074), 15.1% received IV thiamine in period 1 and 62.6% during period 2. Hierarchical regression analysis reported reduction in delirium occurrence in the second period; this did not reach statistical significance, OR = 0.81 (95% CI 0.652–1.002); p = 0.052.

Conclusion: No relationship was detected between whole blood thiamine and delirium occurrence on admission, at 24 and 48 h. It remains unclear whether routine intravenous thiamine supplementation during intensive care admission impacts delirium occurrence. Further prospective randomised clinical trials are needed.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: The final publication will be available at Springer -
Publisher Keywords: Critical care; Delirium; Intensive care; Retrospective studies; Thiamine
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences
Presidents's Portfolio
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
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[thumbnail of Manuscript_ delirium_IJCP_FAO City_preprint.pdf] Text - Accepted Version
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