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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 13, Issue 2, Pages 89-93
Original Articles

Pneumonia Severity Index in the Immunocompromised

Kevin M Sanders, Theodore K Marras, and Charles KN Chan

Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Copyright © 2006 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


BACKGROUND: The pneumonia severity index (PSI) accounts for many comorbidities, but not immunosuppression.

OBJECTIVES: To document the utility of the PSI to predict mortality in immunocompromised patients (IP) with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP).

METHODS: Charts of 284 patients with immunosuppression and CAP were reviewed, and these patients were compared with a contemporary sample of non-IP with CAP. The ability of the PSI to predict mortality was assessed by using multiple logistic regression. Discrimination of the PSI was studied by using the concordance index.

RESULTS: Thirty-nine of 284 IP died. Mortality varied according to the etiology of the immunosuppression. Patients with HIV, solid organ transplantation or treatment with immunosuppressive drugs (n=118) had a low in-hospital mortality (4.3%) and were classified as low risk. IP with hematological malignancies, chemotherapy, chest radiation or marrow transplantation (n=166) had a high mortality (20%) and were classified as high risk. Compared with non-IP, low-risk IP had similar PSI-controlled mortality (OR=0.9, P=0.80), whereas high-risk IP had significantly greater mortality (OR=2.8, P<0.0001). The concordance index revealed similar discrimination for the PSI in low-risk IP (0.77) and in non-IP (0.7), but inferior discrimination in high-risk patients (0.6).

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with CAP and immunosuppression can be divided into low-risk and high-risk groups. The low-risk IP have mortality similar to non-IP and can be risk stratified by using the PSI.