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August 13, 1997

Prognostic Factors in Meningococcal Disease: Development of a Bedside Predictive Model and Scoring System

Author Affiliations

for the Barcelona Meningococcal Disease Surveillance Group
From the CAP Gracia, Institut Català de la Salut (Dr Barquet), Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau (Dr Domingo), Institut Municipal de la Salut (Dr Caylá), Hospital Clinic (Drs González and Marco), Hospital Infantil Vall d' Hebron (Dr Moraga-Llop), Departament de Salut Pública i Legislació Sanitària (Dr Canela), Barcelona, Spain; Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol (Drs Rodrigo and Foz), Badalona, Spain; Hospital de Bellvitge (Dr Fernández-Viladrich), L' Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spain; Laboratorio de Referencia de Meningococos (Drs Vázquez, Sáez-Nieto, and Casal), Centro Nacional de Microbiología, Virología e Inmunología Sanitarias, Madrid, Spain.

JAMA. 1997;278(6):491-496. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550060067038

Context.  —Meningococcal disease is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Development of a prognostic model based on clinical findings may be useful for identification and management of patients with meningococcal infection.

Objectoves.  —To construct and validate a bedside model and scoring system for prognosis in meningococcal disease.

Design.  —Prospective, population-based study.

Setting.  —Twenty-four hospitals in the metropolitan area of Barcelona, Spain.

Patients.  —A total of 907 patients with microbiologically proven meningococcal disease. Patients diagnosed with meningococcal disease from 1987 through 1990 were used to develop the prognostic model, and those diagnosed in 1991 and 1992 were used to validate it.

Outcome Measures.  —Clinical independent prognostic factors for mortality in meningococcal disease. The association between outcome and independent prognostic factors was determined by logistic regression analysis. A scoring system was constructed and tested using receiver operating characteristic curves.

Results.  —Among 624 patients in the derivation set, 287 (46%) were male, the mean age was 12.4 years, and 34 patients (5.4%) died. Among 283 patients in the validation set, 124 (43.8%) were male, the mean age was 12.7 years, and 17 patients (6.0%) died. In multivariate analysis, independent predictors of death were hemorrhagic diathesis (odds ratio [OR], 101; 95% confidence interval [CI], 30-333), focal neurologic signs (OR, 25; 95% CI, 7-83), and age 60 years or older (OR, 10; 95% CI, 3-34), whereas receipt of adequate antibiotic therapy prior to admission was associated with reduced likelihood of death (OR, 0.09; 95% CI, 0.02-0.4). Hemorrhagic diathesis was scored with 2 points, presence of focal neurologic signs with 1 point, age of 60 years or older with 1 point, and preadmission antibiotic therapy was scored as -1. The clinical scores of -1, 0,1,2, and 3 or more points were associated with a probability of death of 0%, 2.3%, 27.3%, 73.3%, and 100%, respectively.

Conclusions.  —Hemorrhagic diathesis, focal neurologic signs, and age of 60 years or older were independent predictors of death in meningococcal disease, whereas receipt of adequate antibiotic therapy was associated with a more favorable prognosis. The scoring system presented is simple, is based on findings readily available at the bedside, and may be useful to help guide aggressive therapy.

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