Clinical prediction rule to predict pneumonia in adult presented with acute febrile respiratory illness

Published:October 20, 2018DOI:



      To derive a clinical prediction rule to predict pneumonia in patients with acute febrile respiratory illness to emergency departments.


      This was a prospective multicentre study. 537 adults were recruited. Those requiring resuscitation or were hypoxaemic on presentation were excluded. Pneumonia was defined as new onset infiltrates on chest X-ray (CXR), or re-attendance within 7 days and diagnosed clinically as having pneumonia. A predictive model, the Acute Febrile Respiratory Illness (AFRI) rule was derived by logistic regression analysis based on clinical parameters. The AFRI rule was internally validated with bootstrap resampling and was compared with the Diehr and Heckerling rule.


      In the 363 patients who underwent CXR, 100 had CXR confirmed pneumonia. There were 7 weighted factors within the ARFI rule, which on summation, gave the AFRI score: age ≥ 65 (1 point), peak temperature within 24 h ≥ 40 °C (2 points), fever duration ≥3 days (2 points), sore throat (−2 points), abnormal breath sounds (1 point), history of pneumonia (1 point) and SpO2 ≤ 96% (1 point). With the bootstrap resampling, the AFRI rule was found to be more accurate than the Diehr and Heckerling rule (area under ROC curve 0.816, 0.721 and 0.566 respectively, p < 0.001). At a cut-off of AFRI≥0, the rule was found to have 95% sensitivity, with a negative predictive value of 97.2%. Using the AFRI score, we found CXR could be avoided for patients having a score of <0.


      AFRI score could assist emergency physicians in identifying pneumonia patients among all adult patients presented to ED for acute febrile respiratory illness.
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