van Ewijk CE, Jacobs GE, Girbes AR.;; Ann Intensive Care. 2016 Dec;6(1):85.
Delirium is a frequently occurring syndrome in patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) or medium care unit (MCU), yet the pathophysiology remains poorly understood. An excess of central serotonin can lead to an altered mental status, associated with autonomic hyperactivity, and neuromuscular excitation. Drugs with serotonergic properties are frequently and for prolonged periods administered to ICU/MCU patients. Therefore, central serotonergic toxicity may constitute a predisposing, contributing or precipitating factor in the emergence of delirium. The purpose of the present study is to determine the number of patients admitted to the ICU or MCU who are diagnosed with delirium and who show characteristics of serotonin toxicity in association with the administration of serotonergic drugs.