AChE-activity in critically ill patients with suspected septic encephalopathy: a prospective, single-centre study [post]

Benedikt Zujalovic, Benjamin Mayer, Sebastian Hafner, Florian Balling, Eberhard Barth
2020 unpublished
Background Up to 70% of septic patients develop a diffuse brain dysfunction named "septic associated encephalopathy" which is often solely based on clinical impressions. However, the diagnosis of septic associated encephalopathy is outcome-relevant due to an increase in mortality in these patients. Neuroinflammation as well as a disturbance of cholinergic transmission are assumed to be the causes of both delirium and septic associated encephalopathy. An alteration in cholinergic activity can be
more » ... objectified by measuring the erythrocytic acetylcholinesterase-activity. Single-point measurements of acetylcholinesterase-activity are of limited value because individual and dynamic changes over time have to be anticipated. Therefore, the hypothesis should be tested whether a longitudinal analysis of acetylcholinesterase-activity in critically ill patients can help to diagnose a suspected septic-associated encephalopathy and whether acetylcholinesterase-activity differs in comparison to non-septic patients.Methods In this prospective, observational, single-center study, 175 patients (45 with sepsis, 130 without sepsis) were included. All patients were admitted to the surgical Intensive Care Unit of the University hospital Ulm, Germany. Patients were examined daily for the presence of delirium using the CAM-ICU. Daily measurement of the acetylcholinesterase-activity was performed in all patients. The possible time-dependent change in acetylcholinesterase-activity was analyzed with a linear regression model considering repeated measurements. Using a time-adjusted model further factors able to affect AChE-activity were investigated. For nonparametric distributions quantitative data were compared using Wilcoxon matched-pairs test. For analysis of independent samples the Mann-Whitney test was performed.Results About 90% of septic patients with suspected septic associated encephalopathy exhibited a statistically significant time-dependent in- or decrease in acetylcholinesterase-activity over a period of at least 5 consecutive days.Conclusion Longitudinal measurement of acetylcholinesterase-activity over several consecutive days revealed a change from baseline only in septic patients with suspected septic-associated encephalopathy. Therefore, longitudinal measurement of acetylcholinesterase-activity is able to diagnose septic associated encephalopathy in septic patients with delirious symptoms.Trial registration Retrospectively registered at German Clinical Trials Register, registration number DRKS 00020542, date of registration: January 27, 2020
doi:10.21203/rs.2.23128/v5 fatcat:3btax3tqwrdsfb5uea34bpx6iq