The Multiple Organ Dysfunction Score (MODS) versus the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score in outcome prediction

Intensive Care Med. 2002 Nov;28(11):1619-24. doi: 10.1007/s00134-002-1491-3. Epub 2002 Sep 6.


Objective: To compare outcome prediction using the Multiple Organ Dysfunction Score (MODS) and the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA), two of the systems most commonly used to evaluate organ dysfunction in the intensive care unit (ICU).

Design: Prospective, observational study.

Setting: Thirty-one-bed, university hospital ICU.

Patients and participants: Nine hundred forty-nine ICU patients.

Measurements and results: The MODS and the SOFA score were calculated on admission and every 48 h until ICU discharge. The Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II score was calculated on admission. Areas under receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) curves were used to compare initial, 48 h, 96 h, maximum and final scores. Of the 949 patients, 277 died (mortality rate 29.1%). Shock was observed in 329 patients (mortality rate 55.3%). There were no significant differences between the two scores in terms of mortality prediction. Outcome prediction of the APACHE II score was similar to the initial MODS and SOFA score in all patients, and slightly worse in patients with shock. Using the scores' cardiovascular components (CV), outcome prediction was better for the SOFA score at all time intervals (initial AUROC SOFA CV 0.750 vs MODS CV 0.694, p<0.01; 48 h AUROC SOFA CV 0.732 vs MODS CV 0.675, p<0.01; and final AUROC SOFA CV 0.781 vs MODS CV 0.674, p<0.01). The same tendency was observed in patients with shock. There were no significant differences in outcome prediction for the other five organ systems.

Conclusions: MODS and SOFA are reliable outcome predictors. Cardiovascular dysfunction is better related to outcome with the SOFA score than with the MODS.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Area Under Curve
  • Critical Illness / mortality*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Organ Failure / diagnosis*
  • Multiple Organ Failure / mortality*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index*