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Effectiveness of the PRISM III score for predicting mortality in pediatric intensive care neurologic patients


The Pediatric Risk of Mortality (PRISM) III score was developed from the Physiologic Stability Index (PSI) to assess pediatric ICU mortality and provide an objective data as a severity index. Although the PRISM score has been applied to many comparisions and analyses in previous studies, there are few reports applied to pediatric intensive care patients in Korea. To evaluate the effectiveness of the PRISM III score as a severity index for expecting mortality and find important variables influencing mortality, we applied this scoring scale to pediatric neurologic patients admitted to the ICU and analyzed the data statistically.


Data collection was done by careful review of medical records and scored each clinical variable. The outcome at discharge was determined as non-survival, survival, and hopeless discharge. Determination of mortality in the hopeless discharge group was done within 48 h after discharge by telephone interview. The study populations were classified into four groups : CNS infection (26 patients), acute encephalopathy (31 patients), status epilepticus (35 patients) and cerebrovascular disorder (4 patients). The difference of the PRISM III score between the survival group and non-survival group was compared by using the nonparametric Mann-Whitney test in the entire study population and for each diagnostic group. To confirm the degree of fitness between the actual mortality and predicted mortality, the Hosmer-Lerneshow goodness-of-fit test, a multiple logistic regression model was used. All clinical variables used for scoring were compared for survivals and non-survivals by the Chi-square test. P values <0.05 were considered significant.


The PRISM III score was significantly higher in the non-survival group than in the survival group. Predicted mortality from the PRISM III score has fitted to actual mortality. According to the results of analyses in each diagnostic groups, the PRISM III score was higher in non-survivals of the acute encephalopathy and CNS infection groups, but statistically insignificant in the cerebrovascular disorders and status epilepticus groups. The important variables of the PRISM III score associated with mortality were mental state, pupil reflex, systolic blood pressure, acidosis, blood sodium level, blood creatinine level, blood glucose level, and PT/PTT.


The PRISM III score is helpful in predicting mortality in pediatric intensive care neurologic patients, especially those in the acute encephalopathy or the CNS infection groups. However, this score was not useful in the status epilepticus group, and insignificant in cerebrovascular group. Due to the smallness of the study group, more massive and comprehensive studies are needed as a follow up to this study.

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Park, J., Kim, S., Sheen, S. et al. Effectiveness of the PRISM III score for predicting mortality in pediatric intensive care neurologic patients. Crit Care 2 (Suppl 1), P161 (1998).

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