Cerebrospinal Fluid Phosphate in Delirium after Hip Fracture

Dement Geriatr Cogn Dis Extra. 2017 Sep 28;7(3):309-317. doi: 10.1159/000478723. eCollection 2017 Sep-Dec.


Aims: Phosphate is essential for neuronal activity. We aimed to investigate whether delirium is associated with altered phosphate concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum.

Methods: Seventy-seven patients with hip fracture were assessed for delirium before and after acute surgery. Prefracture dementia was diagnosed by an expert panel. Phosphate was measured in CSF obtained immediately before spinal anesthesia (n = 77) and in serum (n = 47). CSF from 23 cognitively healthy elderly patients undergoing spinal anesthesia was also analyzed.

Results: Hip fracture patients with prevalent delirium had higher CSF phosphate concentrations than those without delirium (median 0.63 vs. 0.55 mmol/L, p = 0.001). In analyses stratified on dementia status, this difference was only significant in patients with dementia. Serum phosphate was ∼1 mmol/L; there was no association between serum phosphate concentration and delirium status. CSF phosphate did not correlate with serum levels.

Conclusion: Patients with delirium superimposed on dementia have elevated phosphate levels.

Keywords: Cerebrospinal fluid; Delirium; Hip fractures; Physiopathology; Reference values; Serum.