A simplified pneumonia severity index (PSI) for clinical outcome prediction in COVID-19.

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Publication Date


Publication Title

PLoS One


washington; oregon; providence research network; swedish; prmc; isb; covid-19; Humans; COVID-19; Male; Female; Severity of Illness Index; Aged; Retrospective Studies; Middle Aged; Aged, 80 and over; SARS-CoV-2; Pneumonia; Prognosis


BACKGROUND: The Pneumonia Score Index (PSI) was developed to estimate the risk of dying within 30 days of presentation for community-acquired pneumonia patients and is a strong predictor of 30-day mortality after COVID-19. However, three of its required 20 variables (skilled nursing home, altered mental status and pleural effusion) are not discreetly available in the electronic medical record (EMR), resulting in manual chart review for these 3 factors. The goal of this study is to compare a simplified 17-factor version (PSI-17) to the original (denoted PSI-20) in terms of prediction of 30-day mortality in COVID-19.

METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, the hospitalized patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection between 2/28/20-5/28/20 were identified to compare the predictive performance between PSI-17 and PSI-20. Correlation was assessed between PSI-17 and PSI-20, and logistic regressions were performed for 30-day mortality. The predictive abilities were compared by discrimination, calibration, and overall performance.

RESULTS: Based on 1,138 COVID-19 patients, the correlation between PSI-17 and PSI-20 was 0.95. Univariate logistic regression showed that PSI-17 had performance similar to PSI-20, based on AUC, ICI and Brier Score. After adjusting for confounding variables by multivariable logistic regression, PSI-17 and PSI-20 had AUCs (95% CI) of 0.85 (0.83-0.88) and 0.86 (0.84-0.89), respectively, indicating no significant difference in AUC at significance level of 0.05.

CONCLUSION: PSI-17 and PSI-20 are equally effective predictors of 30-day mortality in terms of several performance metrics. PSI-17 can be obtained without the manual chart review, which allows for automated risk calculations within an EMR. PSI-17 can be easily obtained and may be a comparable alternative to PSI-20.


Infectious Diseases




Pulmonary Medicine