Comparison of qSOFA and SIRS for predicting adverse outcomes of patients with suspicion of sepsis outside the intensive care unit

Eli J. Finkelsztein, Daniel S. Jones, Kevin C. Ma, Maria A. Pabón, Tatiana Delgado, Kiichi Nakahira, John E. Arbo, David A. Berlin, Edward J. Schenck, Augustine M.K. Choi, Ilias I. Siempos

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163 Scopus citations


Background: The Third International Consensus Definitions for Sepsis and Septic Shock (Sepsis-3) Task Force recently introduced a new clinical score termed quick Sequential (Sepsis-related) Organ Failure Assessment (qSOFA) for identification of patients at risk of sepsis outside the intensive care unit (ICU). We attempted to compare the discriminatory capacity of the qSOFA versus the Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS) score for predicting mortality, ICU-free days, and organ dysfunction-free days in patients with suspicion of infection outside the ICU. Methods: The Weill Cornell Medicine Registry and Biobank of Critically Ill Patients is an ongoing cohort of critically ill patients, for whom biological samples and clinical information (including vital signs before and during ICU hospitalization) are prospectively collected. Using such information, qSOFA and SIRS scores outside the ICU (specifically, within 8 hours before ICU admission) were calculated. This study population was therefore comprised of patients in the emergency department or the hospital wards who had suspected infection, were subsequently admitted to the medical ICU and were included in the Registry and Biobank. Results: One hundred fifty-two patients (67% from the emergency department) were included in this study. Sixty-seven percent had positive cultures and 19% died in the hospital. Discrimination of in-hospital mortality using qSOFA [area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC), 0.74; 95% confidence intervals (CI), 0.66-0.81] was significantly greater compared with SIRS criteria (AUC, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.51-0.67; p = 0.03). The qSOFA performed better than SIRS regarding discrimination for ICU-free days (p = 0.04), but not for ventilator-free days (p = 0.19), any organ dysfunction-free days (p = 0.13), or renal dysfunction-free days (p = 0.17). Conclusions: In patients with suspected infection who eventually required admission to the ICU, qSOFA calculated before their ICU admission had greater accuracy than SIRS for predicting mortality and ICU-free days. However, it may be less clear whether qSOFA is also better than SIRS criteria for predicting ventilator free-days and organ dysfunction-free days. These findings may help clinicians gain further insight into the usefulness of qSOFA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number73
JournalCritical Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 26 2017


  • Critical care
  • Infection
  • Mortality
  • Organ failure
  • Severe sepsis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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