The University of Louisville Journal of Respiratory Infections



The leading cause of infectious disease death in the United States is community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). Several pneumonia severity indices exist and are widely used as tools to assist physicians regarding site of care based on risk of death. However, limited data exists that discerns which of the most commonly used severity scores is the best predictor of mortality across multiple time points. The objective of this study is to determine the best mortality predictor at different time points between four of the most commonly used pneumonia severity scores.


This was a secondary analysis of a prospective, multicenter, population-based, observational study of patients hospitalized with CAP in the city of Louisville, KY. The severity indices used were the American Thoracic Society (ATS) criteria, the Pneumonia Severity Index (PSI), the British Thoracic Society criteria (CURB-65), Quick Sepsis-Related Organ Failure Assessment (QSOFA), and direct ICU admission to represent physician discretion. The accuracy, kappa statistic, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) were calculated for the ability to predict in-hospital, 30-day, 6-month, and 1-year mortality. 95% confidence intervals for each variable were generated by bootstrapping with random sampling and resampling of the subjects 1000 times. In addition, the area under the curve (AUC) was calculated for each severity score and mortality time point.


There were 6013 eligible patients included in this analysis with data collected between the years 2014 and 2016. At each time point, the QSOFA had the highest sensitivity and NPV, while the PSI had the highest specificity and PPV. QSOFA had the highest accuracy for in-hospital mortality, 30-day mortality, and 6-month mortality, and the CURB-65 had highest mortality for 1-year mortality. The QSOFA had the highest kappa statistic for in-hospital mortality, the CURB-65 had the highest kappa statistic for 30-day mortality, and the PSI had the highest kappa statistic for 6-month and 1-year mortality. The AUC was highest for the ATS criteria for in-hospital mortality, and was highest for the PSI at the remaining time points.


The results of this study show that QSOFA and the PSI are the most reliable severity indices for mortality predictions based on these measures. QSOFA was found, on average, to have the highest accuracy, sensitivity, and NPV. Additionally, PSI was found, on average, to have the highest kappa statistic, specificity, and PPV. The AUC, on average, was best with PSI as the predictor. QSOFA is most capable of making true negative predictions and the PSI is the most capable of making true positive predictions across the four time points.


Study was supported by the Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Louisville, Kentucky.



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