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Austin CA, Szeto A, Gupta A, Wiltshire T, Crona DJ, Kistler C.


Background: Pharmacogenetics may explain a substantial proportion of the variation seen in the efficacy and risk profile of analgesosedative drugs and the incidence of delirium in critically ill adults. Objectives: Conduct a feasibility study to demonstrate the reliability of collecting and analyzing pharmacogenetic information from critically ill patients and to assess the impact of pharmacogenetics on intensive care unit (ICU) outcomes. Methods: We prospectively enrolled subjects from the Medical ICU at the University of North Carolina (UNC). DNA was obtained via a buccal swab and evaluated using the DNA2Rx assay. We collected data on demographics, daily cumulative psychoactive medication exposure, and severity of illness. We performed daily delirium assessments via the CAM-ICU. We analyzed associations between select single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and delirium. Results: From June, 2018 through January, 2019, we screened 244 patients and enrolled 50. The median age was 62.0 years old (range: 28-82 years old), and 27 (54%) of the subjects were female. In all, 49 (98%) samples were both high quality and sufficient quantity. In secondary analyses, we found that 80% (12/15) of patients with two 2 copies of a G allele at rs4680 on COMT experienced delirium, whereas 44% (4/9) of patients with 2 copies of an A allele at this location had delirium. In all, 44% (4/9) of patients with 2 T allele copies at rs7439366 on UGT2B7 experienced delirium compared to 73% (11/15) of patients with 2 C allele copies at this location. Conclusions: We can feasibly collect genetic information from critically ill adults. We were able to efficiently collect high quality DNA of sufficient quantity to conduct pharmacogenetic analysis in this critically ill population. Although the sample size of our current study is too small to conduct robust inferential analyses, it suggests potential SNP targets for a future larger study.


Austin CA, Szeto A, Gupta A, Wiltshire T, Crona DJ, Kistler C. The Pharmacogenetics of Opiates and Its Impact on Delirium in Mechanically Ventilated Adults: A Pilot Study. J Pharm Technol. 2022 Aug;38(4):195-201. doi: 10.1177/87551225221085116. Epub 2022 Apr 13. PMID: 35832565; PMCID: PMC9272493.

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