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The challenge of prognostic markers in acute pancreatitis: internist’s point of view

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Acute pancreatitis, the most frequent hospitalization reason in internal medicine ward among gastrointestinal diseases, is burdened by high mortality rate. The disease manifests mainly in a mild form, but about 20-30% patients have a severe progress that requires intensive care. Patients presenting with acute pancreatitis should be clinically evaluated for organ failure signs and symptoms. Stratifying patients in the first days from symptoms onset is essential to determine therapy and care setting. The aim of our study is to evaluate prognostic factors for acute pancreatitis patients, hospitalized in internal medicine wards, and moreover, understanding the role of various prognostic scores validated in intensive care setting in predicting in-hospital mortality and/or admission to intensive care unit. We conducted a retrospective study enrolling all patients with diagnosis of acute pancreatitis admitted took an internal medicine ward between January 2013 and May 2019. Adverse outcome was considered in-hospital mortality and/or admission to intensive care unit. In total, 146 patients (137 with positive outcome and 9 with adverse outcome) were enrolled. The median age was (67.89 ± 16.44), with a slight prevalence of male (55.1%) compared to female (44.9%). C protein reactive (p = 0.02), creatinine (p = 0.01), sodium (p = 0.05), and troponin I (p = 0.013) after 48 h were significantly increased in patients with adverse outcome. In our study, progression in SOFA score independently increases the probability of adverse outcome in patients hospitalized with acute pancreatitis. SOFA score > 5 is highly predictive of in-hospital mortality (O.R. 32.00; C.I. 6.73-152.5; p = 0.001) compared to other scores. The use of an easy tool, validated in intensive care setting such as SOFA score, might help to better stratify the risk of in-hospital mortality and/or clinical worsening in patients hospitalized with acute pancreatitis in internal medicine ward.
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S H O R T C O M M U N I C A T I O N S Open Access
The challenge of prognostic markers in
acute pancreatitis: internists point of view
Ombretta Para
1
, Lorenzo Caruso
1
, Maria Teresa Savo
1,2*
, Elisa Antonielli
1
, Eleonora Blasi
1
, Fabio Capello
3
,
Tiziana Ciarambino
4
, Lorenzo Corbo
1
, Armando Curto
5
, Margherita Giampieri
1
, Lucia Maddaluni
1
,
Giacomo Zaccagnini
1
and Carlo Nozzoli
1
Abstract
Acute pancreatitis, the most frequent hospitalization reason in internal medicine ward among gastrointestinal diseases, is
burdened by high mortality rate. The disease manifests mainly in a mild form, but about 20-30% patients have a severe
progress that requires intensive care. Patients presenting with acute pancreatitis should be clinically evaluated for organ
failure signs and symptoms. Stratifying patients in the first days from symptoms onset is essential to determine therapy and
care setting. The aim of our study is to evaluate prognostic factors for acute pancreatitis patients, hospitalized in internal
medicine wards, and moreover, understanding the role of various prognostic scores validated in intensive care setting in
predicting in-hospital mortality and/or admission to intensive care unit. We conducted a retrospective study enrolling all
patients with diagnosis of acute pancreatitis admitted took an internal medicine ward between January 2013 and May 2019.
Adverse outcome was considered in-hospital mortality and/or admission to intensive care unit. In total, 146 patients (137
with positive outcome and 9 with adverse outcome) were enrolled. The median age was (67.89 ± 16.44), with a slight
prevalence of male (55.1%) compared to female (44.9%). C protein reactive (p = 0.02), creatinine (p = 0.01), sodium (p = 0.05),
and troponin I (p = 0.013) after 48 h were significantly increased in patients with adverse outcome. In our study, progression
in SOFA score independently increases the probability of adverse outcome in patients hospitalized with acute pancreatitis.
SOFA score > 5 is highly predictive of in-hospital mortality (O.R. 32.00; C.I. 6.73-152.5; p = 0.001) compared to other scores.
The use of an easy tool, validated in intensive care setting such as SOFA score, might help to better stratify the risk of in-
hospital mortality and/or clinical worsening in patients hospitalized with acute pancreatitis in internal medicine ward.
Keywords: Acute pancreatitis, Prognostic factors, Score, Internal wards, Outcome
Introduction
The number of hospitalizations for acute pancreatitis
(AP) has doubled over the two last decades [1,2]. AP is
the leading cause of hospitalization in the USA in in-
ternal medicine wards among gastrointestinal diseases
and is burdened by a high mortality rate [3,4]. In most
cases, the disease manifests in a mild form, but about
20-30% of patients have a severe evolution associated
with a single or multi-organ failure that requires
intensive care. An early assessment of severity in AP is
crucial, the initial 12 to 48 h of hospitalization are crit-
ical for patient management, as this period is considered
a window of opportunity for defining interventions to
prevent pancreatic necrosis and organ failure [5,6]. The
challenge is indeed to assess AP severity during its early
stages in order to prevent complications. Extensive re-
searches have already focused on risk and prognostic
factors. Nevertheless, none of the current clinical scoring
systems or biochemical markers plays a definitive role,
has widespread applicable value or is consistently accur-
ate [7,8]. The aim of our study is to assess the prognos-
tic factors of patients hospitalized for AP in a specific
ward, internal medicine. We also evaluate the efficacy of
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* Correspondence: mariatita.savo@hotmail.it
1
Medicina per la complessità assistenziale 1 AOU Careggi, Largo Piero Palagi,
1, 50139 Florence, Italy
2
Società Italiana di Salute Digitale Telemedicina, via Teodoro Valfrè, 00165
Rome, Italy
Full list of author information is available at the end of the article
Journal o
f
Genetic Engineerin
g
and Biotechnology
Para et al. Journal of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (2021) 19:77
https://doi.org/10.1186/s43141-021-00178-3
different prognostic scores, validated in setting different
from internal medicine in predicting mortality among
patients with AP diagnosis.
Materials and methods
Design of study
We conducted a retrospective study on patients admit-
ted between January 2013 and May 2019 to an internal
medicine ward in AOU Careggi, in Florence, Italy. The
patients were enrolled through a computerized elec-
tronic medical record (Archimed® medical software ver-
sion 6.20 by B. Dannaoui, Florence, Italy).
Inclusion criteria
We enrolled patients, transferred from emergency de-
partment to internal ward, whose clinic and radiological
findings did not suggest the need of high intensity care
at first assessment. The patients enrolled were both
males and females, aged above 18 years old. We enrolled
all the patients with diagnosis of AP during the recovery
or at the entrance in ward. According to the revised At-
lanta classification, the diagnosis of AP requires at least
2 of the following features [9]:
(a) Characteristic abdominal pain
(b) Biochemical evidence of pancreatitis (amylase or
lipase elevated > 3 times the upper limit of normal)
(c) Radiographic evidence of pancreatitis on cross-
sectional imaging
Exclusion criteria
Patients who did not satisfy Atlanta classification or
needed high intensity care at first assessment were
excluded.
All the procedures performed in this study were in ac-
cordance with the ethical standards of the institutional or
national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki
Declaration and its later amendments or comparable eth-
ical standards. This is a retrospective study that include
anonymized patients extracted from hospital database;
data are presented aggregated and anonymously. No in-
formed consent was taken.
We also categorized AP presentation as mild, moder-
ately severe, or severe, based on Atlanta classification [9].
Patients were divided in two groups: those with posi-
tive outcome (discharged) and those with adverse out-
comes (died or transferred to an intensive care unit).
For each enrolled patient were collected: personal data,
admission data; comorbidity (gallstones disease, hyper-
tension, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary dis-
ease, chronic kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, previous
pathology cerebrovascular disease, dementia, presence of
solid or hematological neoplasia, alcoholism and smok-
ing habit, body mass index), laboratory analysis (creatin-
ine, sodium, potassium, calcium, brain natriuretic
peptide (BNP), troponin I, protein C reactive, procalcito-
nin, hematocrit, albumin) on the first admission day and
after 48 h, arterial blood gas (ABG) parameters at admis-
sion and after 48 h, antibiotic and fluid therapy during
hospitalization, home therapy. We also computed for
each patient the following score, validated for AP in dif-
ferent setting from internal ward: RANSON, APACHE
II, MEWS, SOFA score, Q-SOFA, BISAP, CCI, HAPS,
ECOG/PS score, BALTHAZAR.
Statistical analysis
Continuous variables were expressed through means
and standard deviation, while dichotomous variables
were expressed like number and percentage of pa-
tients. The Studentsttestwasusedtocomparecon-
tinuous variables, whereas the chi-squared test was
used for the comparison of non-continuous variables.
We used Shapiro-Wilk test to verify continuous vari-
ables normality. We performed univariate analysis to
examine the contribution of the variables in predict-
ing the chosen outcome. The results were considered
statistically significant for values of p < 0.05 and 95%
of the confidence interval (C.I.). The receiver operat-
ing characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to obtain
the most accurate cut-off of some single continuous
variables. We performed logistic regression multivari-
ate analysis (using a stepwise forward regression
model, with an entry probability for each variable set
at 0.05) to assess the independent contribution of the
variables in predicting the chosen outcome. Statistical
analysis was conducted with SPSS statistical software
version 20.0 (SPSS Chicago, IL).
Table 1 Demographic characteristic in the two groups
Demographic characteristic Positive outcome Adverse outcome P
Age 67.49 ± 16.28 71.67 ± 18.75 0.46
Male 77 (52.7%) 4 (2.7%) /
Female 60 (41.1%) 5 (3.4%) /
B.M.I.
1
26.95 ± 5.58 26.78 ± 4.82 0.939
1
B.M.I body mass index
Para et al. Journal of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (2021) 19:77 Page 2 of 9
Results
Between 1 January 2013 and 20 May 2019, 12,499 pa-
tients were admitted to Internal Medicine AOU Careggi
department. Of these, 146 patients with AP (137 with
positive outcome and 9 with adverse outcome) were en-
rolled. The median age was 67.89 ± 16.44, with a slight
prevalence of male (55.14%) compared to female
(44.9%). Stratifying the patients according to classifica-
tion of Atlanta, we find 122 mild pancreatitis, 8 moder-
ately severe, 16 severe. The main cause of AP resulted
the gallstones disease (59.18%), followed by alcoholism
(7.48%), and post ERCP-pancreatitis (7.56%). Patients
with severe AP were significantly older than patients
with mild-moderate pancreatitis (p = 0.025) (Table 1).
For each group, we examined the main comorbidities
associated to AP. Patients with chronic kidney disease
had acute kidney injury in 56% of cases. Characteristic-
ally, the average creatinine serum was higher in patients
with severe AP (p = 0.014) (Table 2).
Regarding the laboratory analysis, there were no sig-
nificative differences between two groups at the ad-
mission in the hospital. As it is seen in Table 3C-
reactive protein (CPR) (p = 0.02), creatinine (p =
0.01), sodium (p = 0.05), and troponin I (p = 0.013)
after 48 h from the admission were significantly in-
creased in patients with adverse outcome.
Regarding ABG, after 48 h from admission, more acid
pH was associated with a negative outcome (p = 0.027)
(Table 4).
The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis
was used to obtain the most accurate cut-off for the
score significantly different between two groups: values
above the cut-off were associated to a poor prognosis
(Figs. 1,2,3,4,5,6, and 7) (Table 5).
SOFA score > 5 was the most accurate to predict ad-
verse outcome (O.R. 32.000, p = 0.001); q-SOFA score >
1 also showed a good correlation with adverse outcome
(O.R. 16.625, p = 0.001).
Table 2 Comorbidities in the two groups
Comorbidity Positive outcome Adverse outcome Total
Chronic renal failure 13 (9.4%) 3 (33.33%) 16 (10.88%)
Dementia 15 (10.95%) 3 (33.33%) 18 (12.92%)
Gallstone disease 81 (59.6%) 5 (55.6%) 86 (59.18%)
Hematological neoplasia 5 (3.7%) 1 (11.1%) 6 (4.08%)
Solid neoplasia 31 (22.8%) 2 (22.2%) 33 (22.45%)
Previous TIA
1
or stroke 13 (9.6%) 13 (9.6%) 16 (10.88%)
COPD
2
7 (5.1%) 1 (12.5%) 8 (5.5%)
Heart failure 17 (12.5%) 2 (22.5%) 19 (13.60%)
Hypertension 80 (58.8%) 5 (55.6%) 85 (58.50%)
Diabetes 27 (19.9%) 2 (22.2%) 29 (19.73%)
1
TIA transient ischemic attack,
2
COPD chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Table 3 Blood samples after 48 h
Blood samples after 48 h Positive outcome Adverse outcome P
C reactive protein (mg/dL) 87.03 ± 83.4 240 ± 61.24 0.02
Procalcitonin (ng/mL) 10.37 ± 46.92 4.53 ± 7.61 0.747
Heart troponin I (ng/mL) 0.053 ± 0.965 0.32 ± 0.64 0.013
Hematocrit (%) 36.47 ± 4.66 34.26 ± 9.74 0.232
Creatinine (mg/dL) 1.08 ± 0.897 1.96 ± 1.755 0.01
NT-pro BNP
1
(pg/ml) 3826.39 ± 10,497.48 11,174 ± 17,452 0.471
Potassium (mEq/L) 3.734 ± 0.45 4.022 ± 0.58 0.184
Sodium (mEq/L) 139.41 ± 3.658 143.56 ± 8.22 0.05
Calcium (mg/dL) 8.35 ± 0.73 8.08 ± 0.64 0.386
Albumin (g/L) 33.33 ± 8.13 25.4 ± 9.96 0.301
1
N-terminal prohormone of brain natriuretic peptide
Para et al. Journal of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (2021) 19:77 Page 3 of 9
In patients with adverse outcome, more aggressive
fluid therapy (2777.8 ml ± 1545.545) was administered
compared to patients with a positive outcome (1772.96
± 763 ml) (p = 0.001).
We also conducted a multi-variate analysis whose re-
sults are not reported because they were not statistically
significative.
Discussion
In our case study, the mortality rate resulted 2.77%,
similar to data reported in literature (the mortality rate
changes from 2.5% for mild AP to 30% for moderate-
severe form 30%) [1,10,11].
According to classification of Atlanta, we stratify 122
mild pancreatitis, 8 moderately severe, and 16 severe. Se-
vere AP was observed in older patients as elderly age is
an important prognostic factor [12,13]. Indeed, older
patients have more frequently organ failure during AP,
probably due to intestinal bacterial translocation [14].
The increase of intestinal bacterial translocation is corre-
lated to a pro-inflammatory status [1517] called inflam-
maging, which is the reason of a lack immune system
response to antigens [18]. Cellular aging in older pa-
tients is also an important cause of poor immune re-
sponse [15,19].
The first aim of our study was to evaluate blood sam-
ples analytes to find prognostic factors: increase of C-
reactive protein, creatinine, sodium and troponin I, and
reduction of pH after 48 h from the onset of symptoms
result as prognostic factors in patients with adverse
outcome.
Table 4 pH and lactate at admission and after 48 h
Positive outcome Adverse outcome P
A.B.G. at admission
pH 7.44 ± 0.08 7.36 ± 0.075 0.05
Lactate 7.61 ± 19.37 7.98 ± 8.94 0.939
A.B.G. after 48 h
pH 7.43 ± 0.047 7.37 ± 0.104 0.027
Lactate 5.64 ± 4.20 11.7 ± 11.17 0.05
Table 5 Cut off determined for each score
Score Cut-off O.R. C.I. > 95% P
APACHE II > 13 9.531 2.32-39.21 0.001
MEWS > 2 4.808 1.07-21.52 0.026
SOFA score > 5 32.000 6.73-152.5 0.001
Q-SOFA > 1 16.625 3.02-91.54 0.001
BISAP > 3 4.218 1.05-16.96 0.03
HARMS > 1 4.429 0.996-19.69 0.035
BALTHAZAR > 3 6.225 1.25-31.34 0.012
Fig. 1 ROC Curve for SOFA score
Fig. 2 ROC curve for Ranson score
Para et al. Journal of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (2021) 19:77 Page 4 of 9
Troponin I is an important heart damage marker but
its diagnostic capacity is more quantitative than qualita-
tive: according to recent European Society of Cardiology
guidelines, increment of troponin should be at least
three times higher than 99 percentile of reference to be
diagnostic of heart injury [16]. The increase of troponin
levels, in patients with normal electrocardiogram and in
absence of chronic renal failure, is compatible with acute
pancreatitis in the first 72 h from the onset of symptoms
[17]. We speculate that the higher value of troponin
should be due to asymptomatic rhabdomyolis which is
one of the least known and recognized complications of
AP [20].
Patients with poor outcome had an elevated value of
C-reactive protein. During the first phase of acute pan-
creatitis, cytokine pro-inflammation, as TNF (tumor ne-
crosis factor) α, interleukins (IL-1, IL-2, IL-18, IL-6) [21]
and chemokine, oxygen radical oxidant are released [22].
In mild acute pancreatitis, immune system of patients
limits inflammation in the pancreatic area. In severe
form of AP, massive damage and inflammation deter-
mine systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS)
[23]. The systemic inflammation causes a release of cyto-
kine in blood circulation [24,25]. In the liver, IL-6 is a
very powerful indicator of C-reactive proteins and pro-
calcitonin [26].
The increase of creatinine serum in patient with AP
has been largely studied [27]. Acute kidney injury (AKI)
can be a systemic complication of AP; pancreatic amyl-
ase can damage renal microcirculation, causing both
hypoxic and toxic damage due to pancreatic phospholip-
ase A2 action on proximal tubule. All these factors con-
tribute to reduce renal perfusion, to damage tubules,
and to increase creatinine serum concentration [28].
The AKI incidence in patients with AP is between 1 and
15% and it is an important cause of death with percent-
age between 0 and 30% [29].
In patients with adverse outcome, ABG after 48 h from
admission reported an average pH more acidic than
patients with positive outcome. We speculate that extra-
cellular acidosis determines release of cytokines as inter-
leukin 1βfrom the immune cells [30,31] causing necrosis
and further inflammation in patients with AP [32].
Secondary aim of our study was the assessment of dif-
ferent prognostic scores (in Table 6, we reported a brief
introduction to the main scores) in predicting mortality
and need of high intensity care among patients with AP
admitted in internal ward. For each patient, we calcu-
lated the main score validated in setting different from
internal medicine, as emergency department, or high in-
tensity unit care. Although SOFA score, quick-SOFA,
and APACHE II were validated in different setting, their
application in internal ward demonstrated the most ac-
curate relationship with patientsoutcome. Also, Tee
Fig. 3 ROC curve for APACHE II score
Fig. 4 ROC curve for BISAP score
Para et al. Journal of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (2021) 19:77 Page 5 of 9
and Fang [33] compared RANSON, APACHE II, and
SOFA score demonstrating similar sensibility and speci-
ficity in predicting mortality in severe acute pancreatitis
after 48 h from the admission.
SOFA score > 5 shows the best correlation to a poor
outcome. SOFA score is a useful tool to evaluate pa-
tients admitted in high intensity unit care; however, its
use is reduced in low-care setting such as internal wards;
for this reason, SEPSIS-3 [34] guidelines suggest to use
rather q-SOFA, more easily and quickly applicable to as-
sess septic patient prognosis. The application of q-SOFA
demonstrated more elevated value in patients with poor
outcome recovered in internal wards. The main limit of
q-Sofa is underestimating the gravity of illness which
can determine undertreatment [35].
In our study, RANSON score was not associated with
adverse outcome. Also, recent literature support a better
prognostic capacity for APACHE II e BISAP [36,37].
Patients with negative outcome received more aggres-
sive fluids therapy compared to patients with a positive
outcome. Although fluid therapy is one of the hinges in
the AP management to prevent hypovolemia and
Table 6 A brief introduction to scores
Score Setting Specific
*
Usual cut-off
#
Cut-off for AP in
our study
APACHE II Intensive unit care Designed for AP, then used in intensive
setting for different disease
>8 >13
MEWS Clinic score, at patients bed, in
emergency
Used everywhere for its ease. > 3 >2
SOFA score Intensive unit care Sepsis and the multi-organ failure Each result correlates to a higher
risk of mortality
>5
Q-SOFA Intensive unit care As SOFA score but simple to assess > 2 >1
BISAP At patients bed Designed for AP, in the first hours from
hospitalization
As SOFA, not a really cut-off but a
higher risk of mortality
>3
BALTHAZAR Radiological score obtained with
computed tomography
Specific for AP, correlates to
complication, local, and systemic
>2 >3
*Designed or not for AP
#
A superior value is associated to a poor prognosis
Fig. 5 ROC curve for HARMLESS score Fig. 6 ROC curve for MEWS score
Para et al. Journal of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (2021) 19:77 Page 6 of 9
hypoperfusion of tissues, data on the amount of fluid
needed to prevent necrosis or to improve outcome is
contradictory. The amount of liquid must be adjusted to
the patients age, weight, and pre-existing renal and/or
cardiac conditions. More fluid were administered to pa-
tients with severe AP because of their hemodynamic
impairment.
American Gastroenterological Association (AGA)
guidelines suggest the use of goal direct therapy in pa-
tients with AP [38]. Goal-directed therapy is successful
in septic patients but in patients with AP there are no
reported reduction of mortality rate or risk of multi-
organ failure [39]. In addition, respiratory distress and
abdominal compartimental syndrome are reported as
side effects of a too much aggressive fluid therapy [39,
40]. In two prospective randomized trials, therapy with
Ringer lactate had more effectiveness than fluid resusci-
tation with saline solution in reducing value of C-
reactive protein and incidence of SIRS in patients with
AP [41,42]. For the lack of evidence, AGA guidelines do
not make recommendation regarding the choice between
Ringers lactate versus normal saline as the optimal fluid
solution for resuscitation. Normal saline solution can in-
crease hypercloremic acidosis, worsening the inflamma-
tion and pancreatic necrosis [43]; in the other side,
Ringer lactate can reduce inflammation inhibiting mac-
rophages [44] and has a less acid pH (6.5 vs 5.5).
Different studies confirmed the role of acid pH into
worsening necrosis and pancreatic inflammation [32].
We speculate that Ringer lactate can improve the out-
come of patients but the study in support of Ringer lac-
tate has the important limit of poor primary end-point,
as organ failure, pancreatic necrosis, and mortality.
It is difficult from data in the literature understanding
the relationship between the severity of illness, the quan-
tity of fluids administered and outcome [45,46]. The dif-
ficulties deriven from the retrospective nature of our
study which, as the main in literature, show bias about
causuality relationship [47].
Our study has some limitations because it is carried
out in a single department of a single hospital center
and the population examined consists of a limited
number of patients. Moreover, patients with severe
acute AP from the onset of symptoms were admitted
directly to high intensity care unit from emergency
department; this implicated reduced sample for pa-
tients with negative outcome as only mild and moder-
ate AP at the onset of symptoms were recovered in
internal ward. For an internal ward, expanding the
poor sample might lead the study for at least 10
years. Further studies in multicenter system should be
conducted to assess prognostic factors in patients re-
covered in internal wards, because of the rapidly
evolving AP which makes stratification of patients at
the onset of symptoms a real challenge.
Conclusions
In the setting of internal medicine, acute pancreatitis
causes significant mortality rate. Stratifying patients ac-
cording to prognosis at the onset of symptoms is essen-
tial to optimize therapy and establish correct care
setting. Our study showed that an increase of C-reactive
protein, creatinine, sodium, and troponin I after 48 h
from the onset of symptoms are prognostic factors for
patients with adverse outcome. Moreover, the main
score, validated in different settings from internal medi-
cine demonstrated a good correlationship with our
patientsoutcome.
Abbreviations
A.B.G.: Arterial blood gas; A.P.: Acute pancreatitis; APACHE II: Acute
Physiology And Chronic Health Evaluation II; BNP: Brain natriuretic peptide;
BISAP: Bedside Index of Severity in Acute Pancreatitis; CCI: Charlson
Comorbidity Index; CPR: C-reactive protein; ECOG/PS: Eastern Cooperative
Oncology Group/Performance Status; HAPS: Harmless Acute Pancreatitis
Score; IL: Interleukin; MEWS: Modified Early Warning Score; Q-SOFA: Quick -
Sequential Organ Failure Assessment; SIRS: Systemic Inflammatory Response
Syndrome; SOFA: Sequential Organ Failure Assessment
Acknowledgements
Not applicable
Authorscontributions
O.P.: conceptualization and methodology. C.N.: conceptualization and
methodology. M.T.S.: writing original draft. L. Caruso and L. Corbo:
Fig. 7 ROC curve for Q-SOFA
Para et al. Journal of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (2021) 19:77 Page 7 of 9
supervision and funding. All the other authors: Resources. The authors read
and approved the final manuscript.
Funding
This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the
public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Availability of data and materials
The datasets used and/or analyzed during the current study are available
from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
Declarations
Ethics approval and consent to participate
All the procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the
ethical standards of the institutional or national research committee and
with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable
ethical standards. This is a retrospective study that include anonymized
patients extracted from hospital database; data are presented aggregated
and anonymously. No informed consent was taken.
Consent for publication
Not applicable
Competing interests
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Author details
1
Medicina per la complessità assistenziale 1 AOU Careggi, Largo Piero Palagi,
1, 50139 Florence, Italy.
2
Società Italiana di Salute Digitale Telemedicina, via
Teodoro Valfrè, 00165 Rome, Italy.
3
International Study Center of Society of
Telemedicine and Digital Health, 40100 Bologna, Italy.
4
Presidio Ospedaliero
Marcianise UOC Medicina Interna, Viale Sossietta Scialla, 81025 Marcianise,
ASL, Caserta, Italy.
5
Clinic Gastroenterology, AOU Careggi, Largo Piero Palagi,
1, 50139 Florence, Italy.
Received: 12 September 2020 Accepted: 10 May 2021
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