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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2012 Jun;35(12):1408-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2012.05102.x. Epub 2012 Apr 23.

The sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score is an effective triage marker following staggered paracetamol (acetaminophen) overdose.

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  • 1Scottish Liver Transplantation Unit, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score is an effective triage marker following single time point paracetamol (acetaminophen) overdose, but has not been evaluated following staggered (multiple supratherapeutic doses over >8 h, resulting in cumulative dose of >4 g/day) overdoses.

AIM:

To evaluate the prognostic accuracy of the SOFA score following staggered paracetamol overdose.

METHODS:

Time-course analysis of 50 staggered paracetamol overdoses admitted to a tertiary liver centre. Individual timed laboratory samples were correlated with corresponding clinical parameters and the daily SOFA scores were calculated.

RESULTS:

A total of 39/50 (78%) patients developed hepatic encephalopathy. The area under the SOFA receiver operator characteristic for death/liver transplantation was 87.4 (95% CI 73.2-95.7), 94.3 (95% CI 82.5-99.1), and 98.4 (95% CI 84.3-100.0) at 0, 24 and 48 h, respectively, postadmission. A SOFA score of <6 at tertiary care admission predicted survival with a sensitivity of 100.0% (95% CI 76.8-100.0) and specificity of 58.3% (95% CI 40.8-74.5), compared with 85.7% (95% CI 60.6-97.4) and 75.0% (95% CI 65.2-79.5) , respectively, for the modified Kings College criteria. Only 2/21 patients with an admission SOFA score <6 required renal replacement therapy or intracerebral pressure monitoring. SOFA significantly outperformed the Model for End-stage Liver Disease, but not APACHE II, at 0, 24-and 48-h following admission.

CONCLUSIONS:

A SOFA score <6 at tertiary care admission following a staggered paracetamol overdose, is associated with a good prognosis. Both the SOFA and APACHE II scores could improve triage of high-risk staggered paracetamol overdose patients.

© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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