Delirium is associated with mortality and new onset dementia, yet the underlying pathophysiology remains poorly understood. Development of imaging biomarkers has been difficult given the challenging nature of imaging delirious patients. Diffuse optical tomography (DOT) offers a promising approach for investigating delirium given its portability and three-dimensional capabilities.
Twenty-five delirious and matched non-delirious patients (n = 50) were examined using DOT, comparing cerebral oxygenation and functional connectivity in the prefrontal cortex during and after an episode of delirium.
Total hemoglobin values were significantly decreased in the delirium group, even after delirium resolution. Functional connectivity between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex was strengthened post-resolution compared to during an episode; however, this relationship was still significantly weaker compared to controls.
These findings highlight DOT’s potential as an imaging biomarker to measure impaired cerebral oxygenation and functional dysconnectivity during and after delirium. Future studies should focus on the role of cerebral oxygenation in delirium pathogenesis and exploring the etiological link between delirium and dementias.

We developed a portable diffuse optical tomography (DOT) system for bedside three-dimensional functional neuroimaging to study delirium in the hospital.
We implemented a novel DOT task-focused seed-based correlation analysis.
DOT revealed decreased cerebral oxygenation and functional connectivity strength in the delirium group, even after resolution of delirium.

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This post is Copyright: Shixie Jiang,
Jingyu Huang,
Hao Yang,
Richard Czuma,
Lauren Farley,
Alexis Cohen‐Oram,
Kimberly Hartney,
Kristina Chechotka,
F. Andrew Kozel,
Huabei Jiang | May 3, 2024

Wiley: Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Table of Contents