VALIDATION STUDIES
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Validation of the Fournier's gangrene severity index in a large contemporary series.

Journal of Urology 2008 September
PURPOSE: In this study we identified prognostic factors for survival and validated the accuracy of the Fournier's gangrene severity index in patients with Fournier's gangrene.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed medical records of patients diagnosed with Fournier's gangrene between 1996 and 2006. Fournier's gangrene severity index scores were assessed using a receiver operating characteristic curve. Using an outcome variable of inpatient mortality, univariate analyses were performed using the Mann-Whitney U, chi-square and Fisher exact tests.

RESULTS: A total of 68 patients (79.4% male, mean age 55.8 +/- 15.2 years) diagnosed with Fournier's gangrene met the criteria for review. The inpatient mortality rate was 10% (7 patients). The mean Fournier's gangrene severity index score for survivors was 5.4 +/- 3.5 vs 10.9 +/- 4.7 for nonsurvivors (p = 0.006). Isolated Fournier's gangrene severity index and individual laboratory parameters associated with mortality included heart rate (p = 0.05), respiratory rate (p = 0.02), serum creatinine (p = 0.03), serum bicarbonate (p = 0.001), serum lactate (p = 0.001) and serum calcium (p = 0.03). Although mean total body surface area was only suggestive of an association (p = 0.169), abdominal wall (p = 0.004) or lower extremity (p = 0.005) involvement was associated with increased mortality. Using a Fournier's gangrene severity index score threshold of 9 (sensitivity 71.4%, specificity 90%) there was a 96% survival rate in patients with a Fournier's gangrene severity index of less than 9 and a 46% mortality rate in those with a Fournier's gangrene severity index of 9 or greater (p = 0.001, OR 22, 95% CI 3.5-139.7).

CONCLUSIONS: The Fournier's gangrene severity index remains an objective and simple method to quantify the extent of metabolic aberration at presentation in patients with Fournier's gangrene. A Fournier's gangrene severity index threshold value of 9 is sensitive and specific for predicting mortality in this patient population.

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