Predictors of mortality of patients with acute respiratory failure secondary to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease admitted to an intensive care unit: a one year study

BMC Pulm Med. 2004 Nov 27;4:12. doi: 10.1186/1471-2466-4-12.


Background: Patients with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) commonly require hospitalization and admission to intensive care unit (ICU). It is useful to identify patients at the time of admission who are likely to have poor outcome. This study was carried out to define the predictors of mortality in patients with acute exacerbation of COPD and to device a scoring system using the baseline physiological variables for prognosticating these patients.

Methods: Eighty-two patients with acute respiratory failure secondary to COPD admitted to medical ICU over a one-year period were included. Clinical and demographic profile at the time of admission to ICU including APACHE II score and Glasgow coma scale were recorded at the time of admission to ICU. In addition, acid base disorders, renal functions, liver functions and serum albumin, were recorded at the time of presentation. Primary outcome measure was hospital mortality.

Results: Invasive ventilation was required in 69 patients (84.1%). Fifty-two patients survived to hospital discharge (63.4%). APACHE II score at the time of admission to ICU {odds ratio (95 % CI): 1.32 (1.138-1.532); p < 0.001} and serum albumin (done within 24 hours of admission) {odds ratio (95 % CI): 0.114 (0.03-0.432); p = 0.001}. An equation, constructed using the adjusted odds ratio for the two parameters, had an area under the ROC curve of 91.3%. For the choice of cut-off, sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value for predicting outcome was 90%, 86.5%, 79.4% and 93.7%.

Conclusion: APACHE II score at admission and SA levels with in 24 hrs after admission are independent predictors of mortality for patients with COPD admitted to ICU. The equation derived from these two parameters is useful for predicting outcome of these patients.