Cureus. 2021 Sep 28;13(9):e18360. doi: 10.7759/cureus.18360. eCollection 2021 Sep.
BACKGROUND: Acute confusional state (ACS) in COVID-19 is shown to be associated with poor clinical outcomes.
METHODS: We assessed the impact of ACS - defined as a documented deterioration of mental status from baseline on the alertness and orientation to time, place, and person - on inpatient mortality and the need for intensive care unit (ICU) transfer in inpatient admissions with active COVID-19 infection in a single-center retrospective cohort of inpatient admissions from a designated COVID-19 tertiary care center using an electronic health record system. Furthermore, we developed and validated a neurological history and symptom-based predictive score of developing ACS.
RESULTS: Thirty seven out of 245 (15%) patients demonstrated ACS. Nineteen (51%) patients had multifactorial ACS, followed by 11 (30%) patients because of hypoxemia. ACS patients were significantly older (80 [70-85] years vs 50.5 [38-69] years, p < 0.001) and demonstrated more frequent history of dementia (43% vs 9%, p < 0.001) and epilepsy (16% vs 2%, p = 0.001). ACS patients observed significantly higher in-hospital mortality (45.9% vs 1.9%, aOR [adjusted odds ratio]: 15.7, 95% CI = 3.6-68.0, p < 0.001) and need for ICU transfer (64.9% vs 35.1%, aOR: 2.7, 95% CI = 1.2-6.1, p = 0.015). In patients who survived hospitalization, ACS was associated with longer hospital stay (6 [3.5-10.5] days vs 3 [2-7] day, p = 0.012) and numerically longer ICU stay (6 [4-10] days vs 3 [2-6] days, p = 0.078). A score to predict ACS demonstrated 75.68% sensitivity and 81.73% specificity at a cutoff of ≥3.
CONCLUSION: A high prevalence of ACS was found in patients with COVID-19 in our study cohort. Patients with ACS demonstrated increased mortality and need for ICU care. An internally validated score to predict ACS demonstrated high sensitivity and specificity in our cohort.