BACKGROUND: Over 30% of adult patients with pleural infection either die and/or require surgery. There is no robust means of predicting at baseline presentation which patients will suffer a poor clinical outcome. A validated risk prediction score would allow early identification of high-risk patients, potentially directing more aggressive treatment thereafter.
OBJECTIVES: To prospectively assess a previously described risk score (RAPID - Renal (urea), Age, fluid Purulence, Infection source, Dietary (albumin)) in adults with pleural infection.
METHODS: Prospective observational cohort study recruiting patients undergoing treatment for pleural infection. RAPID score and risk category were calculated at baseline presentation. The primary outcome was mortality at 3 months; secondary outcomes were mortality at 12 months, length of hospital stay, need for thoracic surgery, failure of medical treatment, and lung function at 3 months.
RESULTS: Mortality data were available in 542 of 546 (99.3%) patients recruited. Overall mortality was 10% (54/542) at 3 months and 19% (102/542) at 12 months. The RAPID risk category predicted mortality at 3 months; low-risk (RAPID score 0-2) mortality 5/222 (2.3%, 95%CI 0.9 to 5.7), medium-risk (RAPID score 3-4) mortality 21/228 (9.2%, 95%CI 6.0 to 13.7), and high-risk (RAPID score 5-7) mortality 27/92 (29.3%, 95%CI 21.0 to 39.2). C-statistics for the score at 3 and 12 months were 0.78 (95%CI 0.71 to 0.83) and 0.77 (95%CI 0.72 to 0.82) respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: The RAPID score stratifies adults with pleural infection according to increasing risk of mortality and should inform future research directed at improving outcomes in this patient population.