Background: The score of Dyspnea, Eosinopenia, Consolidation, Acidemia and Atrial Fibrillation (DECAF) can be used to predict the in-hospital mortality of patients with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD). It is worth noting that the DECAF score is the first scoring standard combining biomarkers and clinical variables. The application of biomarkers is helpful for improving the accuracy of the scoring system. In recent years, more and more reports and studies paid attentions to procalcitonin (PCT) in respiratory infectious diseases and its clinical value has attracted increasing attention. The study aimed at investigating the effectiveness of the DECAF score combined with PCT in predicting admission of AECOPD patients to intensive care unit (ICU).
Methods: We conducted a retrospective study. We analyzed data from 171 non-immune individuals over the age of 40 in this study. All patients received blood routine measurement and DECAF score calculation on admission. The primary outcome used to assess the probability of an AECOPD patient was who would get a bed in general ward or ICU. Receiver operating characteristic curves (ROC) are used to assess the sensitivity and specificity of PCT, WBC, creatinine, and DECAF scores in predicting the risk of admissions to the ICU of COPD patients. We combined PCT, WBC, and creatinine with DECAF scores, observing the sensitivity and specificity of the different combinations in predicting COPD patients with regard to who should be admitted to ICU.
Results: After analyzing the data from 171 patients, we found that the probability of entering the ICU was 21.05% (36/171). The area under curve (AUC) of PCT, WBC, creatinine, and DECAF score in individually predicting the probability of entering the ICU of AECOPD patients were 0.71 (95% CI 0.61 - 0.81), 0.64 (95% CI 0.52 - 0.75), 0.74 (95% CI 0.63 - 0.84), and 0.88 (95% CI 0.81 - 0.94), respectively, with statistically significant differences (p = 0.00). The sensitivities of PCT, WBC, creatinine and DECAF scores were 0.61, 0.61, 0.56, and 0.91, respectively. The specificities of PCT, WBC, creatinine, and DECAF scores were 0.76, 0.67, 0.88 and 0.74, respectively. The AUC of Combination 1 (PCT&DECAF scores), Combination 2 (WBC&DECAF scores), and Combination 3 (creatinine&DECAF scores) for predicting AECOPD patients entering the ICU was 0.92 (95% CI 0.86 - 0.97), 0.89 (95% CI 0.84 - 0.94), and 0.91 (95% CI 0.85 - 0.96), respectively, with statistically significant differences (p = 0.00); the sensitivities were 0.92, 0.86, and 0.94, respectively, and the specificities were 0.97, 0.78, and 0.74, respectively.
Conclusions: Procalcitonin improves the accuracy and sensitivity of the DECAF score in predicting the probability of AECOPD patients entering the ICU, and PCT was superior to other indexes to improve the sensitivity and specificity of the DECAF score.