Objective: To compare the performance of a coagulation score-the new scoring system for diagnosing disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)-with the Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II and Logistic Organ Dysfunction score in mortality prediction.
Design: Single-center retrospective study.
Setting: Medical intensive care unit of the University of Munich.
Patients: A total of 797 patients admitted to the intensive care unit between January 1, 1996, and January 1, 2001.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of all patients was done if the coagulation variables d-dimer, platelet count, fibrinogen, and prothrombin index were available within the first 12 hrs after admission. Patients with missing values, fibrinolytic therapy, or unknown survival status were excluded from analysis. As a marker of fibrin generation, d-dimer was measured and integrated into the scoring system for DIC together with prothrombin time, fibrinogen, and platelet count. A coagulation score was calculated in analogy with the scoring system for DIC in patients not typically developing DIC.
Measurements and results: Overall, the mean result of the scoring system for DIC was 2.2 points. An increasing scoring system for DIC was associated with increasing mortality in patients with serious infections. Use of the scoring system for DIC in addition to the APACHE II score helps to predict mortality better than the APACHE II score alone, especially in patients with infections. The Cox regression analysis showed that the DIC and APACHE II scores correlated independently with survival time with a greater effect of the DIC score than the APACHE II or the Logistic Organ Dysfunction score. Similar results were obtained using the coagulation score in patients with cardiocirculatory diseases.
Conclusion: Our retrospective data suggest that a combination of the APACHE II score and the scoring system for DIC predicts mortality in critically ill patients with available variables better than the APACHE II score alone. This effect is most pronounced among patients with active infection. These results of our retrospective analysis have to be confirmed in a prospective study.