SOFA and qSOFA at admission to the emergency department: Diagnostic sensitivity and relation with prognosis in patients with suspected infection
Faculty of Medicine, Superior School of Health Sciences, Brasília, Federal District, Brazil
Keywords: Organ dysfunction scores, Sepsis, Prognosis, Patient outcome assessment, Critical illness, Emergency service
Objective: To evaluate the adequacy of SOFA and qSOFA for predicting unfavorable outcomes, and of qSOFA as a screening tool for sepsis in patients admitted to the emergency department (ED) of a Brazilian public hospital.
Methods: This was a single-center retrospective study conducted on a cohort of patients admitted to a Brazilian public hospital between August 2016 and November 2017 due to suspected infection. Exclusion criteria were: age <18 years, admission to the ED after 24 h of hospitalization, lack of information in the medical records, advanced comorbidities, or request of limited invasive care.
Results: A total of 184 patients were included; 84.24% had a SOFA score of 2 or higher. The relative risk of death, need for intensive care unit (ICU) and mechanical ventilation (MV) related to a positive SOFA on admission were: 5.17 (2.11–12.87), 1.45 (1.09–2.15) and 2.74 (1.63–5.16), respectively; sensitivity was 93.7% for death, 88.5% for ICU need and 93.6% for undergoing MV. The mean length of hospital stay was 38.83 days for patients with a positive SOFA score and 8.95 days for patients with a negative score (p = 0.02). The median SOFA value was higher for the patients who died; 41% of the patients had a positive qSOFA and its sensitivity for a positive SOFA was 46.4%. The relative risk of death, ICU and MV need related to qSOFA at admission were 1.83 (1.39–2.44), 0.98 (0.82–1.16) and 1.60 (1.23–1.97), respectively, and its sensitivity was 56.8% for death, 41.4% for ICU need and 53.6% for MV.
Conclusion: qSOFA did not perform well as a screening tool for sepsis and for predicting a poor prognosis in the ED. SOFA, on the other hand, showed reasonable sensitivity for predicting unfavorable outcomes and scores ≥2 were related to a poor prognosis.