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Emerg Infect Dis. 2015 Feb;21(2):259-64. doi: 10.3201/eid2102.131249.

pH level as a marker for predicting death among patients with Vibrio vulnificus infection, South Korea, 2000-2011.


Vibrio vulnificus infection can progress to necrotizing fasciitis and death. To improve the likelihood of patient survival, an early prognosis of patient outcome is clinically important for emergency/trauma department doctors. To identify an accurate and simple predictor for death among V. vulnificus-infected persons, we reviewed clinical data for 34 patients at a hospital in South Korea during 2000-2011; of the patients, 16 (47%) died and 18 (53%) survived. For nonsurvivors, median time from hospital admission to death was 15 h (range 4-70). For predicting death, the areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves of the Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II score and initial pH were 0.746 and 0.972, respectively (p = 0.005). An optimal cutoff pH of <7.35 had a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 83%. Compared with the APACHE II score, the initial arterial blood pH level in V. vulnificus-infected patients was a more accurate predictive marker for death.

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