Predicting Adverse Outcomes for Shiga Toxin–Producing Escherichia coli Infections in Emergency Departments
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OBJECTIVE: To assess the performance of a hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) severity score among children with Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections and HUS by stratifying them according to their risk of adverse events. The score has not been previously evaluated in a North American acute care setting. STUDY DESIGN: We reviewed medical records of children <18 years old infected with STEC and treated in 1 of 38 participating emergency departments in North America between 2011 and 2015. The HUS severity score (hemoglobin [g/dL] plus 2-times serum creatinine [mg/dL]) was calculated using first available laboratory results. Children with scores >13 were designated as high-risk. We assessed score performance to predict severe adverse events (ie, dialysis, neurologic complication, respiratory failure, and death) using discrimination and net benefit (ie, threshold probability), with subgroup analyses by age and day-of-illness. RESULTS: A total of 167 children had HUS, of whom 92.8% (155/167) had relevant data to calculate the score; 60.6% (94/155) experienced a severe adverse event. Discrimination was acceptable overall (area under the curve 0.71, 95% CI 0.63-0.79) and better among children <5 years old (area under the curve 0.77, 95% CI 0.68-0.87). For children <5 years, greatest net benefit was achieved for a threshold probability >26%. CONCLUSIONS: The HUS severity score was able to discriminate between high- and low-risk children <5 years old with STEC-associated HUS at a statistically acceptable level; however, it did not appear to provide clinical benefit at a meaningful risk threshold.