A Bayesian decision-support system for diagnosing ventilator-associated pneumonia

Schurink, C. A., Visscher, S., Lucas, P. J., van Leeuwen, H. J., Buskens, E., Hoff, R. G., Hoepelman, A. I. & Bonten, M. J., Aug-2007, In : Intensive Care Medicine. 33, 8, p. 1379-1386 8 p.

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OBJECTIVE: To determine the diagnostic performance of a Bayesian Decision-Support System (BDSS) for ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). DESIGN: A previously developed BDSS, automatically obtaining patient data from patient information systems, provides likelihood predictions of VAP. In a prospectively studied cohort of 872 ICU patients, VAP was diagnosed by two infectious-disease specialists using a decision tree (reference diagnosis). After internal validation daily BDSS predictions were compared with the reference diagnosis. For data analysis two approaches were pursued: using BDSS predictions (a) for all 9422 patient days, and (b) only for the 238 days with presumed respiratory tract infections (RTI) according to the responsible physicians. MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: 157 (66%) of 238 days with presumed RTI fulfilled criteria for VAP. In approach (a), median daily BDSS likelihood predictions for days with and without VAP were 77% [Interquartile range (IQR) = 56-91%] and 14% [IQR 5-42%, p < 0.001, Mann-Whitney U-test (MWU)], respectively. In receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis, optimal BDSS cut-off point for VAP was 46%, and with this cut-off point positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) were 6.1 and 99.6%, respectively [AUC = 0.857 (95% CI 0.827-0.888)]. In approach (b), optimal cut-off for VAP was 78%, and with this cut-off point PPV and NPV were 86 and 66%, respectively [AUC = 0.846 (95% CI 0.794-0.899)]. CONCLUSIONS: As compared with the reference diagnosis, the BDSS had good test characteristics for diagnosing VAP, and might become a useful tool for assisting ICU physicians, both for routinely daily assessment and in patients clinically suspected of having VAP. Empirical validation of its performance is now warranted
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1379-1386
Number of pages8
JournalIntensive Care Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2007



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