Background: Thiamine is an essential co-factor for aerobic intracellular respiration, nerve conduction, and muscle contraction. Thiamine deficiency is common in the intensive care unit (ICU). Delirium is a frequent unwanted symptom among critical ill patients. Although the exact cause of ICU-associated delirium is unknown, abnormal nutrition and thiamine deficiency may contribute to the etiology.
Objectives: To compare the prevalence of delirium among ICU patients who received thiamine with those who did not and to compare morbidity and mortality.
Methods: A retrospective study was conducted among ICU patients admitted 2014–2018. Routine thiamine administration began in 2016. Collected data included patient demographics, medical history, indication for ICU admission, hospital admission times, ventilation days, inotropic therapy, hemodialysis, tracheostomy, 28-day mortality, and need for anti-psychotic therapy. Group A received thiamine, group B did not. All data were statistically analyzed according to type.
Results: The study included 930 patients: 465 patients in group A and 465 in group B. At admission and throughout the hospitalization severity of disease parameters was worse in group A compared to group B, including acute physiology and chronic health evaluation (APACHE) score, admission lactate level, ventilation days, inotropic support, renal replacement therapy, tracheostomy, and ICU hospitalization. Group A had fewer delirium events without difference of maximal delirium score. No difference in mortality rate was observed.
Conclusions: Thiamine administration was associated with lower delirium prevalence despite longer ICU admission times and higher disease severity parameters at admission and during ICU stay.