Fawaz Poonthottathil, Soorya Suresh, Jamshed Nayer, Praveen Aggarwal

Department of Emergency Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Keywords: Complications, corrosive ingestion, drooling, reluctance, oropharynx, others and leukocytosis score, mortality, prognosis, sensitivity, specificity


OBJECTIVES: Esophagogastroduodenoscopy is considered the gold standard in assessing the severity of injury to the gastrointestinal tract following corrosive ingestion. Zargar’s endoscopic grading of injury helps in prognostication as well as guiding management. Since the major burden of cases lies in resource limited settings, the availability of endoscopic evaluation is a limiting factor. Hence, it is prudent to develop bedside tools that can be used as screening tools to identify patients at high risk of mortality and complications so that timely referrals and judicious utilization of resources can be made. Literature in this regard is limited and published studies have shown that clinical features fail to predict the severity of injury. We aimed our study to find the role of Drooling, Reluctance, Oropharynx, Others, and Leukocytosis (DROOL) score as a predictor of mortality and complications following acute corrosive ingestion.

METHODS: This was a diagnostic accuracy study conducted in the emergency department (ED) of a tertiary care hospital in North India. We screened all cases of acute corrosive ingestion presented to our ED. We collected the data on demographic profile, clinical features, investigations, endoscopy findings, treatment, and DROOL score. We followed patients for up to 12 weeks for outcomes including mortality and complications.

RESULTS: We studied 79 patients of acute corrosive ingestion. The median age was 26 years with a female predominance. Nausea, vomiting, and pain abdomen were the common symptoms. The median DROOL score was 4. The majority of our patients had normal to Zargar grade 1 injury to the stomach and esophagus. Out of 79 patients, 27 patients developed some complications. The overall mortality up to 12 weeks was 10%. The receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis was performed, and the area under the ROC (AUROC) curve of Zargar classification in predicting overall complications was 0.909 (96% confidence interval [CI]: 0.842–0.975) and it was 0.775 (95% CI: 0.553–1.000) in predicting mortality. The AUROC of DROOL score in predicting overall complications was 0.932 (95% CI: 0.877–0.987) and the AUROC of DROOL score in predicting mortality was 0.864 (95% CI: 0.758–0.970). The ROC analysis showed that a DROOL score ≤4 has a sensitivity of 96.2% and a specificity of 77.8% in predicting overall complications. Similarly, DROOL score ≤5 has a sensitivity of 81.7% and a specificity of 62.5% in predicting the development of mortality. Delong test showed that there was no statistically significant difference in Zargar versus DROOL score in terms of prediction of mortality and overall complications (P > 0.05).

CONCLUSION: DROOL score is comparable to Zargar score in identifying patients at high risk of mortality and complications. Hence, DROOL score can be used for risk stratification of patients presenting with corrosive ingestion.

How to cite this article: Poonthottathil F, Suresh S, Nayer J, Aggarwal P. Diagnostic accuracy of drooling, reluctance, oropharynx, others, and leukocytosis score as a predictor of mortality and complications following acute corrosive ingestion. Turk J Emerg Med 2023;23:225-31.

Ethics Committee Approval

Institute Ethics Committee for Post Graduate Research, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi (IECPG‑445/27.06.2019, RT‑21/29.08.2019).

Author Contributions

JN and PA conceived the study. FP undertook recruitment of participants and data collection. SS and PA provided statistical advise and analysed the data. FPand SS drafted the manuscript and all authors contributed substantially to its revision. JN chaired the data oversight committee and takes responsibility for the paper as a whole.

Conflict of Interest

None Declared.

Financial Disclosure