Invasive Meningococcal Disease: Application of Base Excess and Platelets Score in a Portuguese Paediatric Intensive Care Unit

Luis Martins, Patrícia Mação, Carla Pinto, Teresa Dionísio, Andrea Dias, Alexandra Dinis, Leonor Carvalho, José Farela Neves


Introduction: Meningococcal infection has a high mortality and morbidity. Recently a new prognostic scoring system was developed for paediatric invasive meningococcal disease, based on platelet count and base excess – base excess and platelets score. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of base excess and platelets score to predict mortality in children admitted to intensive care due to invasive meningococcal disease.
Material and Methods: Observational study, with retrospective data collection, during a 13.5 years period (01/2000 to 06/2013). Mortality by invasive meningococcal disease and related factors (organ dysfunction and multi-organ failure) were analysed. The base excess and platelets score was calculated retrospectively, to evaluate its accuracy in predicting mortality and compared with Paediatric Risk of Mortality and Paediatric Index of Mortality2.
Results: Were admitted 76 children with invasive meningococcal disease. The most frequent type of dysfunction was cardiovascular (92%), followed by hematologic (55%). Of the total, 47 patients (62%) had criteria for multi-organ failure. The global mortality was 16%. Neurologic and renal dysfunction showed the strongest association with mortality, adjusted odds ratio 315 (26 - 3 804) and 155 (20 - 1 299).
After application of receiver operating characteristic curves, Base Excess and Platelets score had an area under curve of 0.81, Paediatric Index of Mortality2 of 0.91 and Paediatric Risk of Mortality of 0.96.
Discussion: The Base Excess and Platelets score showed good accuracy, although not as high as Paediatric Risk of Mortality or
Paediatric Index of Mortality2.
Conclusions: The Base Excess and Platelets score may be useful tool in invasive meningococcal disease because is highly sensitive and specific and is objectively measurable and readily available at presentation.


Child; Intensive Care Units, Pediatric; Meningococcal Infections; Portugal; Predictive Value of Tests; Prognosis.

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