My watch list  

Pneumonia severity index

The pneumonia severity index [PSI] or PORT Score is a clinical prediction rule that medical practitioners can use to calculate the probability of morbidity and mortality among patients with community acquired pneumonia.[1]


Development of the PSI

The rule uses demographics (whether someone is older, and is male or female), the coexistence of core morbid illnesses, findings on physical examination and vital signs, and essential laboratory findings. This study demonstrated that patients could be stratified into five risk categories, Risk Classes I-V, and that these classes could be used to predict 30-day survival.

Data Source for Derivation & Validation

The rule was derived then validated with data from 38,000 patients from the MedisGroup Cohort Study for 1989, comprising 1 year of data from 257 hospitals across the US who used the MedisGroup patient outcome tracking software built and serviced by Mediqual Systems (Cardinal Health). One significant caveat to the data source was that patients who were discharged home or transferred from the MedisGroup hospitals could not be followed at the 30-day mark, and were therefore assumed to be "alive" at that time. Further validation was performed with the Pneumonia Patient Outcomes Research Team [PORT] (1991) cohort study. This categorization method has been replicated by others[2] and is comparable to the CURB-65 in predicting mortality.[2]

Usage & Application of the PSI

The purpose of the PSI is to classify the severity of a patient's pneumonia to determine the amount of resources to be allocated for care. Most commonly, the PSI scoring system has been used to decide whether patients with pneumonia can be treated as outpatients or as (hospitalized) inpatients. A Risk Class I pneumonia patient can be sent home on oral antibiotics. A Risk Class II-III pneumonia patient may be sent home with IV antibiotics or treated and monitored for 24 hours in hospital. Patients with Risk Class IV-V pneumonia patient should be hospitalized for treatment.

The PSI Algorithm

The PSI Algorithm is detailed below. An online, automated PSI calculator is available on the US AHRQ website.

Step 1: Stratify to Risk Class I vs. Risk Classes II-V
Presence of:
Over 50 years of age Yes/No
Altered mental status Yes/No
Pulse ≥125/minute Yes/No
Respiratory rate >30/minute Yes/No
Systolic blood pressure ≥90 mm Hg Yes/No
Temperature <35°C or ≥40°C Yes/No
History of:
Neoplastic disease Yes/No
Congestive heart failure Yes/No
Cerebrovascular disease Yes/No
Renal disease Yes/No
Liver disease Yes/No
If any "Yes", then proceed to Step 2
If all "No" then assign to Risk Class I
Step 2: Stratify to Risk Class II vs III vs IV vs V
Demographics Points Assigned
If Male +Age (yr)
If Female +Age (yr) - 10
Nursing home resident +10
Neoplastic disease +30
Liver disease +20
Congestive heart failure +10
Cerebrovascular disease +10
Renal disease +10
Physical Exam Findings
Altered mental status +20
Pulse ≥125/minute +20
Respiratory rate >30/minute +20
Systolic blood pressure ≥90 mm Hg +15
Temperature <35°C or ≥40°C +10
Lab and Radiolographic Findings
Arterial pH <7.35 +30
Blood urea nitrogen ≥30 mg/dl (9 mmol/liter) +20
Sodium <90 mmol/liter +20
Glucose ≥250 mg/dl (14 mmol/liter) +10
Hematocrit <30% +10
Partial pressure of arterial O2 <60mmHg +10
Pleural effusion +10
∑ <70 = Risk Class II
∑ 71-90 = Risk Class III
∑ 91-130 = Risk Class IV
∑ >130 = Risk Class V

PSI Derivation and Validation Data

Medisgroup Study (1989) PORT Validation Study (1991) Cohort
Derivation Cohort Validation Cohort Inpatients Outpatients All Patients
Risk Class no. of pts % died no. of pts % died no. of pts % died no. of pts % died no. of pts % died
I 1,372 0.4 3,034 0.1 185 0.5 587 0.0 772 0.1
II (<70) 2,412 0.7 5,778 0.6 233 0.9 244 0.4 477 0.6
III (71–90) 2,632 2.8 6,790 2.8 254 1.2 72 0.0 326 0.9
IV (91–130) 4,697 8.5 13,104 8.2 446 9.0 40 12.5 486 9.3
V (>130) 3,086 31.1 9,333 29.2 225 27.1 1 0.0 226 27.0
Total 14,199 10.2 38,039 10.6 1343 8.0 944 0.6 2287 5.2

Note: % Died refers to 30-day mortality.


  1. ^ Fine MJ, Auble TE, Yealy DM, Hanusa BH, Weissfeld LA, Singer DE, Coley CM, Marrie TJ, Kapoor WN. A prediction rule to identify low-risk patients with community-acquired pneumonia. N Engl J Med. 1997 Jan 23;336(4):243–250. PMID 8995086
  2. ^ a b Aujesky D, Auble TE, Yealy DM, et al (2005). "Prospective comparison of three validated prediction rules for prognosis in community-acquired pneumonia". Am. J. Med. 118 (4): 384-92. doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2005.01.006. PMID 15808136.
  • Figure 1, Halm E, Teirstein A. Management of Community-Acquired Pneumonia. NEJM 2002 347 (25): 2039
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Pneumonia_severity_index". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE