A novel Vascular Leak Index identifies sepsis patients with a higher risk for in-hospital death and fluid accumulation

Jay Chandra, Miguel A. Armengol de la Hoz, Gwendolyn Lee, Alexandria Lee, Patrick Thoral, Paul Elbers, Hyung Chul Lee, John S. Munger, Leo Anthony Celi, David A. Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Sepsis is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide and is characterized by vascular leak. Treatment for sepsis, specifically intravenous fluids, may worsen deterioration in the context of vascular leak. We therefore sought to quantify vascular leak in sepsis patients to guide fluid resuscitation. Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study of sepsis patients in four ICU databases in North America, Europe, and Asia. We developed an intuitive vascular leak index (VLI) and explored the relationship between VLI and in-hospital death and fluid balance using generalized additive models (GAM). Results: Using a GAM, we found that increased VLI is associated with an increased risk of in-hospital death. Patients with a VLI in the highest quartile (Q4), across the four datasets, had a 1.61–2.31 times increased odds of dying in the hospital compared to patients with a VLI in the lowest quartile (Q1). VLI Q2 and Q3 were also associated with increased odds of dying. The relationship between VLI, treated as a continuous variable, and in-hospital death and fluid balance was statistically significant in the three datasets with large sample sizes. Specifically, we observed that as VLI increased, there was increase in the risk for in-hospital death and 36–84 h fluid balance. Conclusions: Our VLI identifies groups of patients who may be at higher risk for in-hospital death or for fluid accumulation. This relationship persisted in models developed to control for severity of illness and chronic comorbidities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103
JournalCritical Care
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Fluid balance
  • Fluid resuscitation
  • Hematocrit
  • Mortality
  • Septic shock
  • Vascular leak

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