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Publications in Pediatrics by NOMIS researchers

NOMIS Researcher(s)

January 21, 2024

Importance  Sepsis is a leading cause of death among children worldwide. Current pediatric-specific criteria for sepsis were published in 2005 based on expert opinion. In 2016, the Third International Consensus Definitions for Sepsis and Septic Shock (Sepsis-3) defined sepsis as life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection, but it excluded children.

Objective  To update and evaluate criteria for sepsis and septic shock in children.

Evidence Review  The Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) convened a task force of 35 pediatric experts in critical care, emergency medicine, infectious diseases, general pediatrics, nursing, public health, and neonatology from 6 continents. Using evidence from an international survey, systematic review and meta-analysis, and a new organ dysfunction score developed based on more than 3 million electronic health record encounters from 10 sites on 4 continents, a modified Delphi consensus process was employed to develop criteria.

Findings  Based on survey data, most pediatric clinicians used sepsis to refer to infection with life-threatening organ dysfunction, which differed from prior pediatric sepsis criteria that used systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) criteria, which have poor predictive properties, and included the redundant term, severe sepsis. The SCCM task force recommends that sepsis in children be identified by a Phoenix Sepsis Score of at least 2 points in children with suspected infection, which indicates potentially life-threatening dysfunction of the respiratory, cardiovascular, coagulation, and/or neurological systems. Children with a Phoenix Sepsis Score of at least 2 points had in-hospital mortality of 7.1% in higher-resource settings and 28.5% in lower-resource settings, more than 8 times that of children with suspected infection not meeting these criteria. Mortality was higher in children who had organ dysfunction in at least 1 of 4—respiratory, cardiovascular, coagulation, and/or neurological—organ systems that was not the primary site of infection. Septic shock was defined as children with sepsis who had cardiovascular dysfunction, indicated by at least 1 cardiovascular point in the Phoenix Sepsis Score, which included severe hypotension for age, blood lactate exceeding 5 mmol/L, or need for vasoactive medication. Children with septic shock had an in-hospital mortality rate of 10.8% and 33.5% in higher- and lower-resource settings, respectively.

Conclusions and Relevance  The Phoenix sepsis criteria for sepsis and septic shock in children were derived and validated by the international SCCM Pediatric Sepsis Definition Task Force using a large international database and survey, systematic review and meta-analysis, and modified Delphi consensus approach. A Phoenix Sepsis Score of at least 2 identified potentially life-threatening organ dysfunction in children younger than 18 years with infection, and its use has the potential to improve clinical care, epidemiological assessment, and research in pediatric sepsis and septic shock around the world.

Research field(s)
Emergency & Critical Care Medicine, Pediatrics

NOMIS Researcher(s)

January 21, 2024

Importance  The Society of Critical Care Medicine Pediatric Sepsis Definition Task Force sought to develop and validate new clinical criteria for pediatric sepsis and septic shock using measures of organ dysfunction through a data-driven approach.

Objective  To derive and validate novel criteria for pediatric sepsis and septic shock across differently resourced settings.

Design, Setting, and Participants  Multicenter, international, retrospective cohort study in 10 health systems in the US, Colombia, Bangladesh, China, and Kenya, 3 of which were used as external validation sites. Data were collected from emergency and inpatient encounters for children (aged <18 years) from 2010 to 2019: 3 049 699 in the development (including derivation and internal validation) set and 581 317 in the external validation set.

Exposure  Stacked regression models to predict mortality in children with suspected infection were derived and validated using the best-performing organ dysfunction subscores from 8 existing scores. The final model was then translated into an integer-based score used to establish binary criteria for sepsis and septic shock.

Main Outcomes and Measures  The primary outcome for all analyses was in-hospital mortality. Model- and integer-based score performance measures included the area under the precision recall curve (AUPRC; primary) and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC; secondary). For binary criteria, primary performance measures were positive predictive value and sensitivity.

Results  Among the 172 984 children with suspected infection in the first 24 hours (development set; 1.2% mortality), a 4-organ-system model performed best. The integer version of that model, the Phoenix Sepsis Score, had AUPRCs of 0.23 to 0.38 (95% CI range, 0.20-0.39) and AUROCs of 0.71 to 0.92 (95% CI range, 0.70-0.92) to predict mortality in the validation sets. Using a Phoenix Sepsis Score of 2 points or higher in children with suspected infection as criteria for sepsis and sepsis plus 1 or more cardiovascular point as criteria for septic shock resulted in a higher positive predictive value and higher or similar sensitivity compared with the 2005 International Pediatric Sepsis Consensus Conference (IPSCC) criteria across differently resourced settings.

Conclusions and Relevance  The novel Phoenix sepsis criteria, which were derived and validated using data from higher- and lower-resource settings, had improved performance for the diagnosis of pediatric sepsis and septic shock compared with the existing IPSCC criteria.

Research field(s)
Emergency & Critical Care Medicine, Pediatrics

NOMIS Researcher(s)

May 20, 2022

Introduction: In 2020, a new disease entitled Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome temporally associated with COVID-19 (PIMS-TS), or Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), emerged, with thousands of children affected globally. There is no available evidence based on randomized controlled trials (RCT) to date on the two most commonly used immunomodulatory treatments, intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIG) and corticosteroids. Therefore, the Swissped RECOVERY trial was conducted to assess whether intravenous (IV) methylprednisolone shortens hospital length of stay compared with IVIG. Methods and Analysis: Swissped RECOVERY is an ongoing investigator-initiated, open-label, multicenter two-arm RCT in children and adolescents <18 years hospitalized with a diagnosis of PIMS-TS. The trial is recruiting at 10 sites across Switzerland. Patients diagnosed with PIMS-TS are randomized 1:1 to methylprednisolone IV (10 mg/kg/day for 3 days) or IVIG (2 g/kg as a single dose). The primary outcome is hospital length of stay censored at day 28, death, or discharge (whichever is first). The target total sample size is ~80 patients 1:1 randomized to each study arm. Ancillary and exploratory studies on inflammation, vaccination acceptance and coverage, long-term outcomes, and healthcare costs are pre-planned. Significance: Currently, robust trial evidence for the treatment of PIMS-TS is lacking, with a controversy surrounding the use of corticosteroids vs. IVIG. This trial will provide evidence for the effectiveness and safety of these two treatments. Ethics and Dissemination: The study protocol, which was designed based on the U.K. RECOVERY trial, the patient information and consent forms, and other study-specific study documents were approved by the local ethics committees (Project ID: 2021-00362). Registration Details: The study is registered on the Swiss National Clinical Trials Portal (SNCTP000004720) and Clinicaltrials.gov (NCT 04826588).

Research field(s)
Health Sciences, Clinical Medicine, Pediatrics

NOMIS Researcher(s)

May 26, 2021

Background: Following the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic a new disease entity emerged, defined as Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome temporally associated with COVID-19 (PIMS-TS), or Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). In the absence of trials, evidence for treatment remains scarce. Purpose: To develop best practice recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of children with PIMS-TS in Switzerland. It is acknowledged that the field is changing rapidly, and regular revisions in the coming months are pre-planned as evidence is increasing. Methods: Consensus guidelines for best practice were established by a multidisciplinary group of Swiss pediatric clinicians with expertise in intensive care, immunology/rheumatology, infectious diseases, hematology, and cardiology. Subsequent to literature review, four working groups established draft recommendations which were subsequently adapted in a modified Delphi process. Recommendations had to reach >80% agreement for acceptance. Results: The group achieved agreement on 26 recommendations, which specify diagnostic approaches and interventions across anti-inflammatory, anti-infectious, and support therapies, and follow-up for children with suspected PIMS-TS. A management algorithm was derived to guide treatment depending on the phenotype of presentation, categorized into PIMS-TS with (a) shock, (b) Kawasaki-disease like, and (c) undifferentiated inflammatory presentation. Conclusion: Available literature on PIMS-TS is limited to retrospective or prospective observational studies. Informed by these cohort studies and indirect evidence from other inflammatory conditions in children and adults, as well as guidelines from international health authorities, the Swiss PIMS-TS recommendations represent best practice guidelines based on currently available knowledge to standardize treatment of children with suspected PIMS-TS. Given the absence of high-grade evidence, regular updates of the recommendations will be warranted, and participation of patients in trials should be encouraged.

Research field(s)
Health Sciences, Clinical Medicine, Pediatrics