BACKGROUNDCurrently, there are no valid and reliable biomarkers to identify delirious patients predisposed to longer delirium duration. We investigated the hypothesis that elevated S100 calcium binding protein B (S100β) levels will be associated with longer delirium duration in critically ill patients.METHODSA prospective observational cohort study was performed in the medical, surgical, and progressive intensive care units (ICUs) of a tertiary care, university affiliated, and urban hospital. Sixty-three delirious patients were selected for the analysis, with two samples of S100β collected on days 1 and 8 of enrollment. The main outcome measure was delirium duration. Using the cutoff of <0.1 ng/mL and ≥0.1 ng/mL as normal and abnormal levels of S100β, respectively, on day 1 and day 8, four exposure groups were created: Group A, normal S100β levels on day 1 and day 8; Group B, normal S100β level on day 1 and abnormal S100β level on day 8; Group C, abnormal S100β level on day 1 and normal on day 8; and Group D, abnormal S100β levels on both day 1 and day 8.RESULTSPatients with abnormal levels of S100β showed a trend towards higher delirium duration (P=0.076); Group B (standard deviation) (7.0 [3.2] days), Group C (5.5 [6.3] days), and Group D (5.3 [6.0] days), compared to patients in Group A (3.5 [5.4] days).CONCLUSIONThis preliminary investigation identified a potentially novel role for S100β as a biomarker for delirium duration in critically ill patients. This finding may have important implications for refining future delirium management strategies in ICU patients.