Journal Article
Observational Study
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Fully independent validation of eleven prognostic scores predicting progression to critically ill condition in hospitalized patients with COVID-19.

INTRODUCTION: COVID-19 remains an important threat to global health and maintains the challenge of COVID-19 hospital care. To assist decision making regarding COVID-19 hospital care many instruments to predict COVID-19 progression to critical condition were developed and validated.

OBJECTIVE: To validate eleven COVID-19 progression prediction scores for critically ill hospitalized patients in a Brazilian population.

METHODOLOGY: Observational study with retrospective follow-up, including 301 adults confirmed for COVID-19 sequentially. Participants were admitted to non-critical units for treatment of the disease, between January and April 2021 and between September 2021 and February 2022. Eleven prognostic scores were applied using demographic, clinical, laboratory and imaging data collected in the first 48 of the hospital admission. The outcomes of greatest interest were as originally defined for each score. The analysis plan was to apply the instruments, estimate the outcome probability reproducing the original development/validation of each score, then to estimate performance measures (discrimination and calibration) and decision thresholds for risk classification.

RESULTS: The overall outcome prevalence was 41.8 % on 301 participants. There was a greater risk of the occurrence of the outcomes in older and male patients, and a linear trend with increasing comorbidities. Most of the patients studied were not immunized against COVID-19. Presence of concomitant bacterial infection and consolidation on imaging increased the risk of outcomes. College of London COVID-19 severity score and the 4C Mortality Score were the only with reasonable discrimination (ROC AUC 0.647 and 0.798 respectively) and calibration. The risk groups (low, intermediate and high) for 4C score were updated with the following thresholds: 0.239 and 0.318 (https://pedrobrasil.shinyapps.io/INDWELL/).

CONCLUSION: The 4C score showed the best discrimination and calibration performance among the tested instruments. We suggest different limits for risk groups. 4C score use could improve decision making and early therapeutic management at hospital care.

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