Validation of the Vasoactive-Inotropic Score in Pediatric Sepsis*

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To assess the validity of Vasoactive-Inotropic Score as a scoring system for cardiovascular support and surrogate outcome in pediatric sepsis.


Secondary retrospective analysis of a single-center sepsis registry.


Freestanding children’s hospital and tertiary referral center.


Children greater than 60 days and less than 18 years with sepsis identified in the emergency department between January 2012 and June 2015 treated with at least one vasoactive medication within 48 hours of admission to the PICU.



Measurements and Main Results:

Vasoactive-Inotropic Score was abstracted at 6, 12, 24, and 48 hours post ICU admission. Primary outcomes were ventilator days and ICU length of stay. The secondary outcome was a composite outcome of cardiac arrest/extracorporeal membrane oxygenation/in-hospital mortality. One hundred thirty-eight patients met inclusion criteria. Most common infectious sources were pneumonia (32%) and bacteremia (23%). Thirty-three percent were intubated and mortality was 6%. Of the time points assessed, Vasoactive-Inotropic Score at 48 hours showed the strongest correlation with ICU length of stay (r = 0.53; p < 0.0001) and ventilator days (r = 0.52; p < 0.0001). On multivariable analysis, Vasoactive-Inotropic Score at 48 hours was a strong independent predictor of primary outcomes and intubation. For every unit increase in Vasoactive-Inotropic Score at 48 hours, there was a 13% increase in ICU length of stay (p < 0.001) and 8% increase in ventilator days (p < 0.01). For every unit increase in Vasoactive-Inotropic Score at 12 hours, there was a 14% increase in odds of having the composite outcome (p < 0.01).


Vasoactive-Inotropic Score in pediatric sepsis patients is independently associated with important clinically relevant outcomes including ICU length of stay, ventilator days, and cardiac arrest/extracorporeal membrane oxygenation/mortality. Vasoactive-Inotropic Score may be a useful surrogate outcome in pediatric sepsis.

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