External Validation of the Modified 4C Deterioration Model and 4C Mortality Score for COVID-19 Patients in a Swiss Tertiary Hospital

Diagnostics (Basel). 2022 May 3;12(5):1129. doi: 10.3390/diagnostics12051129.


Prognostic models to predict the deterioration and mortality risk in COVID-19 patients are utterly needed to assist in informed decision making. Most of these models, however, are at high risk of bias, model overfitting, and unclear reporting. Here, we aimed to externally validate the modified (urea was omitted) 4C Deterioration Model and 4C Mortality Score in a cohort of Swiss COVID-19 patients and, second, to evaluate whether the inclusion of the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) improves the predictive performance of the models. We conducted a retrospective single-centre study with adult patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Both prediction models were updated by including the NLR. Model performance was assessed via the models' discriminatory performance (area under the curve, AUC), calibration (intercept and slope), and their performance overall (Brier score). For the validation of the 4C Deterioration Model and Mortality Score, 546 and 527 patients were included, respectively. In total, 133 (24.4%) patients met the definition of in-hospital deterioration. Discrimination of the 4C Deterioration Model was AUC = 0.78 (95% CI 0.73-0.82). A total of 55 (10.44%) patients died in hospital. Discrimination of the 4C Mortality Score was AUC = 0.85 (95% CI 0.79-0.89). There was no evidence for an incremental value of the NLR. Our data confirm the role of the modified 4C Deterioration Model and Mortality Score as reliable prediction tools for the risk of deterioration and mortality. There was no evidence that the inclusion of NLR improved model performance.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; deterioration; hospital; mortality; prediction.

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.