Predictors of Mortality in Mechanically Ventilated Critical Pertussis in a low Income Country.

Critical pertussis is characterized by severe respiratory failure, important leukocytosis, pulmonary hypertension, septic shock and encephalopathy.


To describe the clinical course of critical pertussis, and identify predictors of death at the time of presentation for medical care.


Retrospective study conducted in children’s hospital Tunisian PICU between 01 January and 31 October 2013. Patients with criticalpertussis confirmed by RT-PCR and requiring mechanical ventilation were included. Predictors of death were studied.


A total of 17 patients was studied. Median age was 50 days. Mortality was 23%. Predictors risk of mortality were : high PRISM score (Pediatric Risk of Mortality Score) (p=0,007), shock (p=0,002), tachycardia (p=0,005), seizures (p=0,006), altered mental status (p=0,006), elevated WBC count (p=0,003) and hemodynamic support (p=0022). However, the difference did not reach statistical significance in comorbidity, pneumoniae, high pulmonary hypertension or exchange transfusion. Concomitant viral or bacterial co-infection was not related to poor outcome.


Young infants are at high risk to have critical pertussis. Despite advances in life support and the treatment of organ failure in childhood critical illness, critical pertussis remains difficult to treat.


Authors:Borgi A1, Menif K1, Belhadj S1, Ghali N1, Salmen L1, Hamdi A1, Khaldi A1, Bouaffsoun A2, Kechaou S3, Kechrid A2, Bouziri A1, Benjaballah N1.

Journal:Mediterr J Hematol Infect Dis. 2014