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Severe community-acquired pneumonia in the intensive care unit


Community-acquired pneumonia remains a common condition worldwide. It is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to evaluate conditions that could predict a poor outcome.


Retrospective analyse of 69 patients admitted to the ICU from 1996 to 2003. Demographic data included age, sex and medical history. Etiologic agents, multiorgan dysfunction, nosocomial infections, SAPS II and PORT scores were recorded for each patient. For statistical analysis we used a t test, chi-square test and Mann–Whitney U test on SPSS®. A value of P less than 0.05 was considered significant.


Forty-seven patients were male and 22 patients were female. Mean age was 52 years. Sixty-seven percent had serious pre-morbid conditions including pulmonary disease (34.8%), cardiac problems (36.2%), diabetes (13%) and chronic liver disease (5.8%); 40.6% were smokers, drug abusers or alcohol dependents. Sixty-eight patients required invasive mechanical ventilation. The average length of ventilation was 13.5 days, median 8 days. The mean SAPS II score was 40.14 and the mean PORT score was 141. The mortality rate was 27.5% (SAPS II estimated mortality, 35%). Complications reported were ARDS (40.6%), septic shock (34.8%), acute renal failure (2.9%), cardiac arrest (8.7%) and nosocomial infeccions (46.4%). Mortality rates were higher for previous hepatic (75%) and metabolic (33%) diseases. We found a close association between crude mortality and SAPS II score (P = 0.003) and development of complications (P = 0.0028). Respiratory dysfunction (P = 0.006) and septic shock (P = 0.022) were most significantly related to mortality. No significant differences were founded regarding age, comorbidities, PORT score, etiologic agents, nosocomial infections and length of invasive mechanical ventilation.


Previous hepatic chronic disease was strictly related to higher mortality as well as isolation of MRSA. ARDS and septic shock predicted a poor outcome. SAPS II score was the best severity indicator of mortality.

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Costa, C., Gouveia, I., Cunha, P. et al. Severe community-acquired pneumonia in the intensive care unit. Crit Care 9, P1 (2005).

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  • Liver Disease
  • Septic Shock
  • Acute Renal Failure
  • Chronic Liver Disease
  • Alcohol Dependent