Prospective validation of the RAPID clinical risk prediction score in adult patients with pleural infection: the PILOT study

John P Corcoran, Duneesha De Fonseka, Nick A Maskell, Najib M Rahman, et al.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Background Over 30% of adult patients with pleural infection either die and/or require surgery. There is no robust means of predicting at baseline presentation which patients will suffer a poor clinical outcome. A validated risk prediction score would allow early identification of high-risk patients, potentially directing more aggressive treatment thereafter.

Objectives To prospectively assess a previously described risk score (RAPID - Renal (urea), Age, fluid Purulence, Infection source, Dietary (albumin)) in adults with pleural infection.

Methods Prospective observational cohort study recruiting patients undergoing treatment for pleural infection. RAPID score and risk category were calculated at baseline presentation. The primary outcome was mortality at 3 months; secondary outcomes were mortality at 12 months, length of hospital stay, need for thoracic surgery, failure of medical treatment, and lung function at 3 months.

Results Mortality data were available in 542 of 546 (99.3%) patients recruited. Overall mortality was 10% (54/542) at 3 months and 19% (102/542) at 12 months. The RAPID risk category predicted mortality at 3 months; low-risk (RAPID score 0–2) mortality 5/222 (2.3%, 95%CI 0.9 to 5.7), medium-risk (RAPID score 3–4) mortality 21/228 (9.2%, 95%CI 6.0 to 13.7), and high-risk (RAPID score 5–7) mortality 27/92 (29.3%, 95%CI 21.0 to 39.2). C-statistics for the score at 3 and 12 months were 0.78 (95%CI 0.71 to 0.83) and 0.77 (95%CI 0.72 to 0.82) respectively.

Conclusions The RAPID score stratifies adults with pleural infection according to increasing risk of mortality and should inform future research directed at improving outcomes in this patient population.
Original languageEnglish
JournalERJ Open Research
Early online date16 Jul 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Jul 2020


  • empyema
  • pleural
  • pleural effusion
  • thoracostomy


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