Role of the DECAF Score in Predicting In-hospital Mortality in Acute Exacerbation of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
Cureus. 2019 Jun 04;11(6):e4826
Authors: Memon MA, Faryal S, Brohi N, Kumar B
Introduction Acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD) can be fatal. In 2012, a comprehensive score was developed to predict the risk of in-hospital mortality in AECOPD called the dyspnoea, eosinopenia, consolidation, acidemia, and atrial fibrillation (DECAF) score. We conducted this study to assess the value of the DECAF score as a clinical prediction tool that claims to stratify all patients with AECOPD by risk accurately. Methods We conducted a prospective study of patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of the Department of Pulmonology in Civil Hospital, Jamshoro, from January 2016 to December 2018. Our inclusion criteria were that the patient must be age 35 years or older, have a primary clinical diagnosis of AECOPD, spirometry consistent with airflow obstruction, and have a smoking history of ≥10 cigarette pack per year. We excluded patients who had domiciliary ventilation, survival-limiting comorbidities (such as metastatic malignancy), and a primary reason for admission other than AECOPD. All sociodemographic data were collected at the time of admission, including age, gender, co-morbidities, housebound status, and number of previous AECOPD. Clinical data collected included plain chest x-ray, spirometry, electrocardiogram, arterial blood gases analysis, complete blood count, kidney function test, liver function test, and serum electrolytes. A DECAF score was applied to each patient. We noted in-hospital mortality and compared the characteristics of survivors and non-survivors. Data were analyzed using IBM SPSS for Windows, version 19.0 (IBM Corp, Armonk, NY). Results A total of 162 patients were included in the study. The mortality rate was 13% (n=21). More survivors had a DECAF score from zero to three than non-survivors. The difference in the number of survivors vs. non-survivors was statistically significant for DECAF scores zero and one. For DECAF scores four and five, there were more patients in the "non-survivors" group, and the differences were statistically significant. None of the patients scored six on DECAF. Conclusion Patients with a DECAF score of four or higher have a significant risk of mortality. DECAF is a simple tool that predicts mortality that incorporates routinely available indices to stratify AECOPD patients into mortality risk categories.
PMID: 31403014 [PubMed]