Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2021; 25 (11): 4037-4050

DOI: 10.26355/eurrev_202106_26045

Utility of the DECAF score for predicting survival of patients with COPD: a meta-analysis of diagnostic accuracy studies

M.-H. Shen, G.-Q. Qiu, X.-M. Wu, M.-J. Dong

Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Huzhou Cent Hospital, Affiliated Centre Hospital HuZhou University, Huzhou, Zhejiang Province, P.R. China. smh20141101@126.com


OBJECTIVE: The DECAF (Dyspnea, Eosinopenia, Consolidation, Acidemia, Atrial Fibrillation) score is a widely used system for predicting the survival of patients with acute aggravation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Evaluations of the predictive accuracy of DECAF have shown differing results. We performed this meta-analysis to evaluate the DECAF score as a survival predictor in patients with COPD.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We have included the studies examining the accuracy of DECAF scoring system as index test with occurrence of events (mortality and need for invasive/non-invasive ventilation) as reference standards irrespective of the study design employed, type of participants and severity of the condition. We conducted a systematic search for all studies reporting the predictive accuracy of DECAF scores in the databases of PubMed Central, Scopus, Medline, Embase, and Cochrane from inception until September 2020. We have used the quality assessment of diagnostic accuracy studies-2 (QUADAS-2) tool to evaluate the risk of bias. We used the STATA software “midas” package to perform the meta-analysis.

RESULTS: We included 21 studies with 6429 patients. Most studies included were prospective. Most studies were conducted in the United Kingdom. Most studies used a cut-off value of the DECAF score ≥3 to predict the in-hospital or 30-day mortality and need for mechanical ventilation. All the studies used the occurrence of in-hospital/30-day mortality or patient undergoing mechanical ventilation as the reference standards. The pooled sensitivity and specificity of the DECAF score for predicting in-hospital mortality among patients with acute exacerbation of COPD were 74% (95% CI, 67%-79%) and 76% (95% CI, 68%-82%), respectively; and those for the 30-day mortality were 72% (95% CI, 59%-82%) and 83% (95% CI, 67%-93%), respectively. The overall quality of the studies in our meta-analysis was high. We found no significant publication biases as per Deek’s test and funnel plot.

CONCLUSIONS: This review has certain strengths. It is the first meta-analysis assessing the predictive utility of the DECAF score for in-hospital mortality among patients with AECOPD. Most studies included were of high quality according to the QUADAS-2 tool. Despite these strengths, our review had some limitations. We found a significant between-study variability in our analysis that can limit its value for inferring or interpreting the pooled findings. The predictive accuracy of the scoring system depends on many factors such as the ethnicity of the participants or patients, the timing of the scoring system assessment, and the AECOPD severity. We could not assess the influence of these variables in our study. Despite these shortcomings, our findings provide valuable information and important implications for the clinical practice involving patients with AECOPD. We found that the DECAF score can predict in-hospital and 30-day mortalities with satisfactory sensitivity and specificity.

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To cite this article

M.-H. Shen, G.-Q. Qiu, X.-M. Wu, M.-J. Dong
Utility of the DECAF score for predicting survival of patients with COPD: a meta-analysis of diagnostic accuracy studies

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Year: 2021
Vol. 25 - N. 11
Pages: 4037-4050
DOI: 10.26355/eurrev_202106_26045