Prognostic Accuracy of the Quick Sequential Organ Failure Assessment for Mortality in Patients With Suspected Infection Journal Articles uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: The quick Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (qSOFA) has been proposed for prediction of mortality in patients with suspected infection. PURPOSE: To summarize and compare the prognostic accuracy of qSOFA and the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) criteria for prediction of mortality in adult patients with suspected infection. DATA SOURCES: Four databases from inception through November 2017. STUDY SELECTION: English-language studies using qSOFA for prediction of mortality (in-hospital, 28-day, or 30-day) in adult patients with suspected infection in the intensive care unit (ICU), emergency department (ED), or hospital wards. DATA EXTRACTION: Two investigators independently extracted data and assessed study quality using standard criteria. DATA SYNTHESIS: Thirty-eight studies were included (n = 385 333). qSOFA was associated with a pooled sensitivity of 60.8% (95% CI, 51.4% to 69.4%) and a pooled specificity of 72.0% (CI, 63.4% to 79.2%) for mortality. The SIRS criteria were associated with a pooled sensitivity of 88.1% (CI, 82.3% to 92.1%) and a pooled specificity of 25.8% (CI, 17.1% to 36.9%). The pooled sensitivity of qSOFA was higher in the ICU population (87.2% [CI, 75.8% to 93.7%]) than the non-ICU population (51.2% [CI, 43.6% to 58.7%]). The pooled specificity of qSOFA was higher in the non-ICU population (79.6% [CI, 73.3% to 84.7%]) than the ICU population (33.3% [CI, 23.8% to 44.4%]). LIMITATION: Potential risk of bias in included studies due to qSOFA interpretation and patient selection. CONCLUSION: qSOFA had poor sensitivity and moderate specificity for short-term mortality. The SIRS criteria had sensitivity superior to that of qSOFA, supporting their use for screening of patients and as a prompt for treatment initiation. PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians. (PROSPERO: CRD42017075964).


  • Fernando, Shannon M
  • Tran, Alexandre
  • Taljaard, Monica
  • Cheng, Wei
  • Rochwerg, Bram
  • Seely, Andrew JE
  • Perry, Jeffrey J

publication date

  • February 20, 2018