Respiratory failure (RF) is one of the most common reasons for hospitalization in pediatric intensive care units (PICU). We propose a radiography-based severity score for the assessment of children with RF and investigate the possible associations with severity indices and outcome.
Materials and Methods:
Children with acute RF admitted in PICU were enrolled. Disease severity scores [Pediatric Risk of Mortality (PRISM) and Pediatric Logistic Organ Dysfunction (PELOD)], the ratio of partial pressure arterial oxygen and fraction of inspired oxygen (PaO2/FiO2) ratios, duration of ventilator support (DVS), length of PICU and hospital stay (LOS), and outcome were recorded. A 5-point radiography score that considered potential radiographic findings was derived through stepwise multivariable logistic regression analysis, and validated. Radiographs upon PICU admission and on the worst RF day (maximum respiratory support and worst oxygenation/ventilation parameters) were blindly reviewed and independently scored by 2 radiologists and 2 clinicians, following training.
We enrolled 104 children [median age 2.7 (interquartile range, 0.5 to 9.6) y, 65.4% boys]. Overall, 163 radiographs (PICU admission: 86, worst RF day: 77) were assessed. Radiography scores correlated positively with predicted mortality (PELOD, PRISM), DVS, LOS (all P<0.001) and inversely with PaO2/FiO2 (P<0.001). Scores differed among diagnostic categories (P<0.05); patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome, air-leaks, drowning, and pneumonia scored the highest (P<0.005). Radiography scoring trends indicating deterioration were associated with prolonged DVS, PICU, and hospital LOS (P<0.001). Agreement between all raters was good (κ=0.7, P<0.001).
This novel radiography score for children with RF, associated with clinical severity scores, mortality risk, duration of ventilatory support, and hospitalization, follows a simple structured approach and can be readily utilized by radiologists and pediatricians as a bedside tool for stratification of disease severity and prognosis.