Vol. 11 nº 2 - Apr/May/Jun de 2017
Case Report Páginas: 206 a 208

Prolonged delirium misdiagnosed as a mood disorder

Authors Fei Cao1; Haitham Salem1; Caesa Nagpal2; Antonio L. Teixeira1,2


keywords: delirium, mood disorder, general hospital.

Delirium can be conceptualized as an acute decline in cognitive function that typically lasts from hours to a few days. Prolonged delirium can also affect patients with multiple predisposing and/or precipitating factors. In clinical practice, prolonged delirium is often unrecognized, and can be misdiagnosed as other psychiatric disorders. We describe a case of a 59-year-old male presenting with behavioral and cognitive symptoms that was first misdiagnosed as a mood disorder in a general hospital setting. After prolonged delirium due to multiple factors was confirmed, the patient was treated accordingly with symptomatic management. He evolved with progressive improvement of his clinical status. Early diagnosis and management of prolonged delirium are important to improve patient prognosis and avoid iatrogenic measures.


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