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Prognosis of patients with rheumatic diseases admitted to intensive care

Medical Intensive Care Unit, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel


Variable mortality rates have been reported for patients with rheumatic diseases admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU). Due to the absence of appropriate control groups in previous studies, it is not known whether the presence of a rheumatic disease constitutes a risk factor. Moreover, the accuracy of the Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II) score for predicting outcome in this group of patients has been questioned. The primary goal of this study was to compare outcome of patients with rheumatic diseases admitted to a medical ICU to those of controls. The records of all patients admitted between 1 April 2003 and 30 June 2014 (n=4020) were screened for the presence of a rheumatic disease during admission (n=138). The diagnosis of a rheumatic disease was by standard criteria for these conditions. An age- and gender-matched control group of patients without a rheumatic disease was extracted from the patient population in the database during the same period (n=831). Mortality in ICU, in hospital and after 180 days did not differ significantly between patients with and without rheumatic diseases. There was no difference in the performance of the APACHE II score for predicting outcome in patients with rheumatic diseases and controls. This score, as well as a requirement for the use of inotropes or vasopressors, accurately predicted hospital mortality in the group of patients with rheumatic diseases. In conclusion, patients with a rheumatic condition admitted to intensive care do not do significantly worse than patients without such a disease.

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