SCORTEN Overestimates Mortality in the Setting of a Standardized Treatment Protocol

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Toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) is a rare, severe, exfoliative disorder with a high mortality rate. SCORTEN is a recently developed scoring system that estimates severity and predicts mortality in patients with TEN based on seven independent clinical risk factors recorded within the first 24 hours of admission. An increasing SCORTEN level predicts a higher mortality rate. For more than 20 years, the treatment of TEN at our institution has involved the use of a standardized clinical pathway that includes removal of sloughed epidermis, dermal protection with porcine xenograft, early enteral nutrition, and critical care monitoring. We hypothesize that this standardized clinical approach will result in a lower mortality rate than predicted by SCORTEN. A retrospective review was performed on all patients treated for TEN using the standardized pathway from February 1987 to March 2004. SCORTEN was calculated in each patient. One hundred nine patients were treated for TEN during the study period. Overall observed mortality was 20% compared with a SCORTEN predicted mortality of 30%, resulting in a relative reduction in mortality of 33% (P = .011). In addition, observed probability of death was lower than predicted at all levels, except at SCORTEN score of 6 or greater. In conclusion, TEN remains a life-threatening disease with a high mortality rate. Our standardized treatment protocol results in significantly improved outcomes compared to those predicted by SCORTEN.

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