J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2014 Oct;18(2):98-103. 10.0000/jkgp.2014.18.2.98.

The Relationship of Alcohol Withdrawal Delirium and Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms in Patients with Alcohol Dependence

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Busan Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea. gabriel.jdu@gmail.com


This study was performed to analyze the clinical variables associated with occurrence of delirium tremens (DT) in inpatients with alcohol dependence initially admitted with diseases unrelated to alcohol.
This study included 132 inpatients seeking treatment for medical problem with acute alcohol withdrawal. The cases were divided into two groups : with DT group (n=44), without DT group (n=88). We compared the epidemiologic data, alcohol withdrawal symptoms and serum analysis data between two groups. We used the logistic regression to predict risk factors for DT.
The DT group had more severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms, more amount of drinking alcohol, more number of drinking per month, higher blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, amylase, C-reactive protein and lower serum total protein than the without-DT group. According to the result of a logistic regression, occurrence of DT showed correlation with the following factors : sweating, hallucination, agitation, amount of alcohol consumption, number of drinking per month.
Our study suggests development of DT was correlated with severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms, high BUN, creatinine and low total serum protein. Therefore, during assessment of alcohol dependent patients, clinicians should keep these parameters in mind in order to prevent DT.


Alcohol withdrawal delirium; Risk factor
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