Background: The objective of this study was to investigate the characteristics and clinical outcomes of critically ill cancer patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) in Korea. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study that analyzed prospective collected data from the Validation of Simplified Acute Physiology Score 3 (SAPS3) in Korean ICU (VSKI) study, which is a nationwide, multicenter, and prospective study that considered 5,063 patients from 22 ICUs in Korea over a period of 7 months. Among them, patients older than 18 years of age who were diagnosed with solid or hematologic malignancies prior to admission to the ICU were included in the present study. Results: During the study period, a total of 1,762 cancer patients were admitted to the ICUs and 833 of them were deemed eligible for analysis. Six hundred fifty-eight (79%) had solid tumors and 175 (21%) had hematologic malignancies, respectively. Respiratory problems (30.1%) was the most common reason leading to ICU admission. Patients with hematologic malignancies had higher Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (12 vs. 8, P < 0.001) and SAPS3 (71 vs. 69, P < 0.001) values and were more likely to be associated with chemotherapy, steroid therapy, and immunocompromised status versus patients with solid tumors. The use of inotropes/vasopressors, mechanical ventilation, and/or continuous renal replacement therapy was more frequently required in hematologic malignancy patients. Mortality rates in the ICU (41.7% vs. 24.6%, P < 0.001) and hospital (53.1% vs. 38.6%, P = 0.002) were higher in hematologic malignancy patients than in solid tumor patients. Conclusions: Cancer patients accounted for one-third of all patients admitted to the studied ICUs in Korea. Clinical characteristics were different according to the type of malignancy. Patients with hematologic malignancies had a worse prognosis than did patients with solid tumor.
- Critical care
- Hematologic neoplasm