PLoS One. 2021 Jan 14;16(1):e0245552. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0245552. eCollection 2021.
BACKGROUND: Early distinguishing ventilator-associated tracheobronchitis (VAT) and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) remains difficult in the daily practice. However, this question appears clinically relevant, as treatments of VAT and VAP currently differ. In this study, we assessed the accuracy of sepsis criteria according to the Sepsis-3 definition in the early distinction between VAT and VAP.
METHODS: Retrospective single-center cohort, including all consecutive patients with a diagnosis of VAT (n = 70) or VAP (n = 136), during a 2-year period. Accuracy of sepsis criteria according to Sepsis-3, total SOFA and respiratory SOFA, calculated at time of microbiological sampling were assessed in differentiating VAT from VAP, and in predicting mortality on ICU discharge.
RESULTS: Sensitivity and specificity of sepsis criteria were found respectively at 0.4 and 0.91 to distinguish VAT from VAP, and at 0.38 and 0.75 for the prediction of mortality in VA-LRTI. A total SOFA ≥ 6 and a respiratory SOFA ≥ 3 were identified as the best cut-offs for these criteria in differentiating VAT from VAP, with sensitivity and specificity respectively found at 0.63 and 0.69 for total SOFA, and at 0.49 and 0.7 for respiratory SOFA. Additionally, for prediction of mortality, a total SOFA ≥ 7 and a respiratory SOFA = 4 were identified as the best-cut-offs, respectively yielding sensitivity and specificity at 0.56 and 0.61 for total SOFA, and at 0.22 and 0.95 for respiratory SOFA.
CONCLUSIONS: Sepsis criteria according to the Sepsis-3 definition show a high specificity but a low sensitivity for the diagnosis of VAP. Our results do not support the use of these criteria for the early diagnosis of VAP in patients with VA-LRTI.