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Clin Infect Dis. 2011 Sep;53(6):503-11. doi: 10.1093/cid/cir463.

Validation of the Infectious Diseases Society of America/American Thoratic Society minor criteria for intensive care unit admission in community-acquired pneumonia patients without major criteria or contraindications to intensive care unit care.

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MRC Centre for Inflammation Research, Queens Medical Research Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.



The 2007 Infectious Disease Society of America/American Thoracic Society (IDSA/ATS) guidelines for community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) recommended new criteria to guide admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) for patients with this condition. Although the major criteria (requirement for mechanical ventilation or septic shock requiring vasopressor support) are well established, the value of the minor criteria alone have not been fully validated.


We performed a prospective observational study of consecutive adult patients with CAP admitted to NHS Lothian (Scotland, United Kingdom). Patients meeting the IDSA/ATS major criteria on admission were excluded, along with patients not suitable for ICU care owing to advanced directives or major comorbid illnesses. Performance characteristics for the IDSA/ATS minor criteria were calculated and compared with those for alternative scoring systems identified in the literature. Two definitions of severe CAP were used as primary end points: ICU admission, and subsequent requirement for mechanical ventilation or vasopressor support (MV/VS); 30-day mortality was a secondary outcome.


The study included 1062 patients with CAP potentially eligible for ICU admission. Each of the 9 minor criteria was associated with increased risk of MV/VS and 30-day mortality in univariate analysis. Two hundred seven patients had ≥ 3 minor criteria (19.5%). The IDSA/ATS 2007 criteria had an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.85 (0.82-0.88) for prediction of MV/VS, 0.85 (0.82-0.88) for prediction of ICU admission, and 0.78 (0.74-0.82) for prediction of 30-day mortality. The IDSA/ATS 2007 criteria were at least equivalent to more established scoring systems for prediction of MV/VS and ICU admission and equivalent to alternative scoring systems for predicting 30-day mortality in this patient population.


In a population of patients with CAP without contraindications to ICU care, the IDSA/ATS minor criteria predict subsequent requirement for MV/VS, ICU admission, and 30-day mortality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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