Development and validation of a bronchoscopically defined bronchitis scoring tool in children

Kah Peng Eg, Rahul J. Thomas, Ian Brent Masters, Margaret S. McElrea, Julie Marchant, Anne Chang

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    Introduction/Aim: A validated tool for scoring bronchitis during flexible bronchoscopy (FB) is potentially useful for clinical practice and research. We aimed to develop a bronchoscopically defined bronchitis scoring system in children (BScore) based on our pilot study.

    Methods: Children undergoing FB were prospectively enrolled. Their FB was digitally recorded and assessed (two clinicians blinded to each other and clinical history) for six features: secretion amount (six‐point scale), secretion color (BronkoTest, 0‐8), mucosal oedema (0‐3), ridging (0‐3), erythema (0‐3), and pallor (0‐3) based on pre‐determined criteria. We correlated (Spearman's rho) each feature with bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) neutrophil percentage (neutrophil%). BScore was then derived using models with combinations of the six features that best related to airway BAL neutrophil%. The various models of BScore were plotted against BAL neutrophil% using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves.

    Results: We analyzed 142 out of 150 children enrolled. Eight children were excluded for unavailability of BAL cytology or FB recordings. Chronic/recurrent cough was the commonest indication for FB (75%). The median age was 3 years (IQR, 1.5‐5.3 years). Secretion amount (r  = 0.42) and color (r  = 0.46), mucosal oedema (r  = 0.42), and erythema (r  = 0.30) significantly correlated with BAL neutrophil%, P  < .0001. The highest area under ROC (aROC) was obtained by the addition of the scores of all features excluding pallor (aROC = 0.84; 95% CI, 0.76‐0.90) with airway neutrophilia (defined as BAL neutrophil% of >10%).

    Conclusion: This prospective study has developed the first validated bronchitis scoring tool in children based on bronchoscopic visual inspection of airways. Further validation in other cohorts is however required.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2444-2451
    Number of pages8
    JournalPediatric Pulmonology
    Issue number9
    Early online date25 Jun 2020
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


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