The Pneumonia Severity Index as a Predictor of In-Hospital Mortality in Acute Exacerbation of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

PLoS One. 2015 Jul 17;10(7):e0133160. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0133160. eCollection 2015.


Objective: To determine whether the pneumonia severity index (PSI) can predict in-hospital mortality for AECOPD patients and compare its usefulness with the CURB65 and BAP65 indexes to predict mortality.

Methods: Demographics, clinical signs and symptoms, comorbidities, and laboratory and radiographic findings of hospitalized AECOPD patients were obtained. Univariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were used to identify the risk factors for in-hospital mortality. The PSI, CURB65 and BAP65 scores were calculated. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was used to identify the PSI, CURB65 and BAP65 scores that could discriminate between non-survivors and survivors. To control for the confounding factor of invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) regarding the mortality of AECOPD, subgroup analysis was performed when excluded patients who had met the criteria of IMV but who had not received the cure of IMV according to their wishes.

Results: During the in-hospital period, 73 patients died and 679 patients recovered. Age, PaO2<60 mmHg, pH < 7.35, PaCO2≥50 mmHg, nursing home residency, congestive heart failure, liver disease, sodium<130 mmol/L, lower FEV1% and altered mental status were risk factors for in-hospital mortality. The areas under the ROC curves (AUCs) of the PSI for death were 0.847 (95% CI: 0.799-0.895). The cut-off value was 116.5 with a sensitivity of 82.2% and a specificity of 77.6%. However, the AUCs of the CURB65 and BAP65 for death were only 0.744 (95% CI: 0.680-0.809) and 0.665 (95% CI: 0.594-0.736), respectively. Subgroup analysis also showed that the PSI score could predict the mortality of AECOPD patients with an AUC = 0.857 (95% CI: 0.802-0.913), with exclusion of the patients who met the criteria of IMV but who did not receive the cure of IMV.

Conclusion: The PSI score may be used to predict in-hospital mortality for hospitalized AECOPD patients, with a prognostic capacity superior to CURB65 and BAP65.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Hospitals / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / epidemiology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / mortality*
  • Severity of Illness Index*

Grant support

This work was funded by the Guangzhou municipal health bureau scientific research fund (201102A213176) (URL: The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.