Clustering COVID-19 ARDS patients through the first days of ICU admission. An analysis of the CIBERESUCICOVID Cohort.

Publication date: Mar 21, 2024

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) can be classified into sub-phenotypes according to different inflammatory/clinical status. Prognostic enrichment was achieved by grouping patients into hypoinflammatory or hyperinflammatory sub-phenotypes, even though the time of analysis may change the classification according to treatment response or disease evolution. We aimed to evaluate when patients can be clustered in more than 1 group, and how they may change the clustering of patients using data of baseline or day 3, and the prognosis of patients according to their evolution by changing or not the cluster. Multicenter, observational prospective, and retrospective study of patients admitted due to ARDS related to COVID-19 infection in Spain. Patients were grouped according to a clustering mixed-type data algorithm (k-prototypes) using continuous and categorical readily available variables at baseline and day 3. Of 6205 patients, 3743 (60%) were included in the study. According to silhouette analysis, patients were grouped in two clusters. At baseline, 1402 (37%) patients were included in cluster 1 and 2341(63%) in cluster 2. On day 3, 1557(42%) patients were included in cluster 1 and 2086 (57%) in cluster 2. The patients included in cluster 2 were older and more frequently hypertensive and had a higher prevalence of shock, organ dysfunction, inflammatory biomarkers, and worst respiratory indexes at both time points. The 90-day mortality was higher in cluster 2 at both clustering processes (43. 8% [n = 1025] versus 27. 3% [n = 383] at baseline, and 49% [n = 1023] versus 20. 6% [n = 321] on day 3). Four hundred and fifty-eight (33%) patients clustered in the first group were clustered in the second group on day 3. In contrast, 638 (27%) patients clustered in the second group were clustered in the first group on day 3. During the first days, patients can be clustered into two groups and the process of clustering patients may change as they continue to evolve. This means that despite a vast majority of patients remaining in the same cluster, a minority reaching 33% of patients analyzed may be re-categorized into different clusters based on their progress. Such changes can significantly impact their prognosis.

Concepts Keywords
Biomarkers ARDS
Ciberesucicovid Clustering
Inflammatory Mortality
Organ Precision medicine


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19
disease MESH Acute respiratory distress syndrome
disease VO time
disease MESH infection
disease IDO algorithm
disease MESH shock
disease VO organ
disease IDO process

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