Study evaluates quick sequential organ failure assessment score in dogs with severe sepsis and septic shock

13 October 2022

The rapid detection of sepsis in the emergency room may allow early intervention, which may result in improved survival rate among septic patients. The diagnosis of sepsis is very complex and there is no single test, examination finding, or scoring system that is a reliable indicator. The prognostic and diagnostic performance of quick sequential organ failure assessment in dogs with severe sepsis and septic shock has not been evaluated before. The study aim was to evaluate the prognostic utility and performance of a quick sequential organ failure assessment score to diagnose severe sepsis or septic shock in dogs presented to an emergency service.

The study “Evaluation of quick sequential organ failure scores in dogs with severe sepsis and septic shock” reviewed electronic records from dogs that presented through the veterinary medical teaching hospital emergency service between January 2010 and December 2019 using the search terms “sepsis” or “septic”. The quick sequential organ failure score was calculated by evaluating respiratory rate (>22 breaths per minute), arterial systolic blood pressure (≤100mmHg) and altered mentation. Forty-five dogs with severe sepsis and septic shock and 45 dogs with non-infectious systemic inflammatory response syndrome were included in the final analysis.

It was found that the quick sequential organ failure assessment score provided poor discrimination between survivors and non-survivors for dogs with severe sepsis and septic shock. In addition, the quick sequential organ failure score demonstrated a poor sensitivity and fair specificity to detect this population of canine patients. Previous studies on quick sequential organ failure score have provided conflicting result. The discrepancy in findings between studies may be due to inherent heterogeneity of the population. Considering the results of this study, it may not be possible to identify a single scoring system that serves the purpose that quick sequential organ failure assessment is intended for.

Nicola Di Girolamo, Editor of JSAP concluded: “The results of this study have strong clinical implications. The JSAP values studies with negative findings such as this one, as much as studies with positive findings. The fact that a diagnostic tool or a treatment does not reach the desired objective, should not hinder publication of methodologically sound research”

The full article can be found in the October issue of the Journal of Small Animal Practice and can be read online here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/jsap.13522

The Journal of Small Animal Practice is published monthly and access to all articles is free for BSAVA members. For information on how to become a BSAVA member visit https://new.bsava.com/Membership/Member-categories.

1 Osgood, AM, Hollenbeck, D, and Yankin, I (2022) Evaluation of quick sequential organ failure scores in dogs with severe sepsis and septic shock Journal of Small Animal Practice, Available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/jsap.13522