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Whole blood thiamine levels and its relationship with severity of alcohol withdrawal and neurological soft signs in patients with alcohol use disorder

Author(s): Dushad Ram

Objective: Thiamine deficiency has often been reported in patient with alcohol use disorder and its role in alcohol withdrawal is unclear. This study was conducted to find out levels of whole blood thiamine in patients with alcohol use disorder and its relationship with demographic variables, severity of alcohol withdrawal symptoms and neurological soft signs.

Methods: A total of 60 consecutive male patients with alcohol use disorder were recruited and assessed with Sociodemographic and clinical data sheet, Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment for Alcohol Scale and Extended Standard Neurological Assessment Instrument. High Performance Liquid Chromatography was used for assessing levels of whole blood thiamine level. Mean whole blood thiamine level was 8.7 (SD ± 12.9) μg/l. Seventy percent of patients developed withdrawal symptoms, while more than half of the patients had neurological soft signs. In multiple regression analysis seven predictors explained 31.6 % of the variance (R2 = .316, F = 3.430, p < 005) of whole blood thiamine levels. The two predictors that statistically significantly predicted the value of whole blood thiamine level were duration of the current episode of alcohol intake (Beta= - .357, t= - 2.889, p< .001) and quantity of daily alcohol intake (Beta = - .259, t =- 2.122, p < .05). Score of neurological soft sign and withdrawal score did not predict significantly the whole blood thiamine level.

Conclusions: Based the finding of this study, it may be concluded that low levels of whole blood thiamine is common in patient with alcohol use disorder and positively associated with quantity & duration of alcohol intake. Severity of alcohol withdrawal and soft neurological signs are not associated with whole blood thiamine levels.

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