Abstract Background Delirum is common in hospitalized elderly patients and may be associated with increased morbidity, length of stay and patient care costs. Delirium (acute confusional state) is defined as an acute disorder of attention and cognition. In elderly patients, delirium is often an early indicator of patho-physiological disturbances. Despite landmark studies dating back to the 1940s, the pathogenesis of Delirium remains poorly understood. Early investigators noted that Delirium was characterized by global cortical dysfunction that was associated predominantly with specific electroencephalographic changes. It's important to understand the risk factors and incidence of Delirium. Some of the risk factors are already identified in literature and can be summarized in the word "VINDICATE" which stands for: Vascular, Infections, Nutrition, Drugs, Injury, Cardiac, Autoimmune, Tumors, Endocrine. Aims of this study are: to re-evaluate the above mentioned clinical risk factors, adding some others selected from literature, and to test, as risk factors, a pattern of some genes associated to cognitive dysfunction and inflammation possibly related to postoperative Delirium. Design All patients admitted to our Emergency Unit who are meet our inclusion/exclusion criteria will be recruited. The arising of postoperative Delirium will select incidentally two groups (Delirium/non Delirium) and the forward analysis of correlate risk factors will be performed. As in a typical observational case/control study we will consider all the exposure factors to which our population are submitted towards the outcome (presence of Delirium). Our exposures are the following: ASA, Pain (SVS; VAS), Blood gas analysis (pH; Hb; pO2; pCO2), Residence pharmacological therapy (BDZ; hypnotics; narcotic drugs; alcohol; nitrous derivates), Body temperature, Arterial pressure, Heart frequency, Breath frequency, Na, K, Creatinin, Glicemia, Albumin, Hct, White blood cells, Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), Cognitive state (SPMSQ), Functional state (ADL and IADL), Psychological Distress (HADS), Cumulative Illness Rating Scale (CIRS), Hypotension (classified in: light; moderate and severe and duration), Blood loss (classified in: 2 lt), Blood transfusions ( 2 lt), Quantity of red cells and plasma transfusions, Visual VAS / SVS (timing: I-II-III post-operative day), Red cells and Plasma transfusions, Blood count evaluation and Saturation (O2%), Postoperative analgesia (Emilia-Romagna protocol), Presence of malignant tumoral disease, APACHE Score II. Moreover the presence of some relevant genetic polymorphisms will be studied in different genes such as IL-6, IL-10, TNF-alpha, and IL-1 cluster.