Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the outcome of patients with systemic rheumatic diseases admitted to our medical-intensive care unit (ICU) in comparison to the outcome of patients with non-rheumatic diseases in the same ICU.
Methods: The hospital files of 50 patients with systemic rheumatic diseases who were treated in the medical-ICU of Hacettepe University Hospital, Ankara between 1995 and 2001 were retrospectively evaluated. 50 patients without any underlying systemic rheumatic diseases admitted to the medical-ICU in the same time period and matched for age, gender and acute physiology and chronic health evaluation scores were included in the control group. ICU outcome was compared between the two groups.
Results: The acute physiology score of the study group was lower than that of the control group (13.4 +/- 5.7 [SD] vs. 17.3 +/- 7.2, p = 0.04). Moreover, the study group received more immunosuppressive treatment but less invasive procedures (i.e. mechanical ventilation and central venous catheterization). Mortality rates (56% vs. 54%, respectively, p = 0.5), lengths of stay in the ICU and in the hospital, the infection rates were similar between the rheumatic disease group and the control group.
Conclusion: The presence of a systemic rheumatic disease seems to negatively affect the outcome in patients under intensive care.