Enhancement of CURB65 score with proadrenomedullin (CURB65-A) for outcome prediction in lower respiratory tract infections: derivation of a clinical algorithm

BMC Infect Dis. 2011 May 3;11:112. doi: 10.1186/1471-2334-11-112.


Background: Proadrenomedullin (ProADM) confers additional prognostic information to established clinical risk scores in lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI). We aimed to derive a practical algorithm combining the CURB65 score with ProADM-levels in patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and non-CAP-LRTI.

Methods: We used data of 1359 patients with LRTI enrolled in a multicenter study. We chose two ProADM cut-off values by assessing the association between ProADM levels and the risk of adverse events and mortality. A composite score (CURB65-A) was created combining CURB65 classes with ProADM cut-offs to further risk-stratify patients.

Results: CURB65 and ProADM predicted both adverse events and mortality similarly well in CAP and non-CAP-LRTI. The combined CURB65-A risk score provided better prediction of death and adverse events than the CURB65 score in the entire cohort and in CAP and non-CAP-LRTI patients. Within each CURB65 class, higher ProADM-levels were associated with an increased risk of adverse events and mortality. Overall, risk of adverse events (3.9%) and mortality (0.65%) was low for patients with CURB65 score 0-1 and ProADM ≤0.75 nmol/l (CURB65-A risk class I); intermediate (8.6% and 2.6%, respectively) for patients with CURB65 score of 2 and ProADM ≤1.5 nmol/l or CURB classes 0-1 and ProADM levels between 0.75-1.5 nmol/L (CURB65-A risk class II), and high (21.6% and 9.8%, respectively) for all other patients (CURB65-A risk class III). If outpatient treatment was recommended for CURB65-A risk class I and short hospitalization for CURB65-A risk class II, 17.9% and 40.8% of 1217 hospitalized patients could have received ambulatory treatment or a short hospitalization, respectively.

Conclusions: The new CURB65-A risk score combining CURB65 risk classes with ProADM cut-off values accurately predicts adverse events and mortality in patients with CAP and non-CAP-LRTI. Additional prospective cohort or intervention studies need to validate this score and demonstrate its safety and efficacy for the management of patients with LRTI.

Trial registration: Procalcitonin-guided antibiotic therapy and hospitalisation in patients with lower respiratory tract infections: the prohosp study; isrctn.org Identifier: ISRCTN: ISRCTN95122877.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adrenomedullin*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Algorithms
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Protein Precursors*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / diagnosis*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / mortality


  • Protein Precursors
  • proadrenomedullin
  • Adrenomedullin

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN95122877