An early, novel illness severity score to predict outcome after cardiac arrest

Resuscitation. 2011 Nov;82(11):1399-404. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2011.06.024. Epub 2011 Jul 5.


Background: Illness severity scores are commonly employed in critically ill patients to predict outcome. To date, prior scores for post-cardiac arrest patients rely on some event-related data. We developed an early, novel post-arrest illness severity score to predict survival, good outcome and development of multiple organ failure (MOF) after cardiac arrest.

Methods: Retrospective review of data from adults treated after in-hospital or out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in a single tertiary care facility between 1/1/2005 and 12/31/2009. In addition to clinical data, initial illness severity was measured using serial organ function assessment (SOFA) scores and full outline of unresponsiveness (FOUR) scores at hospital or intensive care unit arrival. Outcomes were hospital mortality, good outcome (discharge to home or rehabilitation) and development of multiple organ failure (MOF). Single-variable logistic regression followed by Chi-squared automatic interaction detector (CHAID) was used to determine predictors of outcome. Stepwise multivariate logistic regression was used to determine the independent association between predictors and each outcome. The Hosmer-Lemeshow test was used to evaluate goodness of fit. The n-fold method was used to cross-validate each CHAID analysis and the difference between the misclassification risk estimates was used to determine model fit.

Results: Complete data from 457/495 (92%) subjects identified distinct categories of illness severity using combined FOUR motor and brainstem subscales, and combined SOFA cardiovascular and respiratory subscales: I. Awake; II. Moderate coma without cardiorespiratory failure; III. Moderate coma with cardiorespiratory failure; and IV. Severe coma. Survival was independently associated with category (I: OR 58.65; 95% CI 27.78, 123.82; II: OR 14.60; 95% CI 7.34, 29.02; III: OR 10.58; 95% CI 4.86, 23.00). Category was also similarly associated with good outcome and development of MOF. The proportion of subjects in each category changed over time.

Conclusions: Initial illness severity explains much of the variation in cardiac arrest outcome. This model provides prognostic information at hospital arrival and may be used to stratify patients in future studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Heart Arrest / diagnosis*
  • Heart Arrest / mortality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Survival Rate