The pneumonia severity index: a decade after the initial derivation and validation

Clin Infect Dis. 2008 Dec 1;47 Suppl 3:S133-9. doi: 10.1086/591394.


The prognosis of community-acquired pneumonia ranges from rapid resolution of symptoms and full recovery of functional status to the development of severe medical complications and death. The pneumonia severity index is a rigorously studied prediction rule for prognosis that objectively stratifies patients into quintiles of risk for short-term mortality on the basis of 20 demographic and clinical variables routinely available at presentation. The pneumonia severity index was derived and validated with data on >50,000 patients with community-acquired pneumonia by use of well-accepted methodological standards and is the only pneumonia decision aid that has been empirically shown to safely increase the proportion of patients given treatment in the outpatient setting. Because of its prognostic accuracy, methodological rigor, and effectiveness and safety as a decision aid, the pneumonia severity index has become the reference standard for risk stratification of community-acquired pneumonia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Community-Acquired Infections / pathology*
  • Community-Acquired Infections / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Pneumonia / pathology*
  • Pneumonia / physiopathology*
  • Severity of Illness Index*