Journal Article

Comparison of predictive models for postoperative nausea and vomiting

C. C. Apfel, P. Kranke, L. H. J. Eberhart, A. Roos and N. Roewer

in BJA: British Journal of Anaesthesia

Published on behalf of the British Journal of Anaesthesia

Volume 88, issue 2, pages 234-240
Published in print February 2002 | ISSN: 0007-0912
Published online February 2002 | e-ISSN: 1471-6771 | DOI:
Comparison of predictive models for postoperative nausea and vomiting

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Background. In order to identify patients who would benefit from prophylactic amtiemetics, six predictive models have been described for the risk assessment of postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV). This study compared the validity and practicability of these models in patients undergoing general anaesthesia.

Methods. Data were analysed from 1566 patients who underwent balanced anaesthesia without prophylactic antiemetic treatment for various types of surgery. A systematic literature search identified six predictive models for PONV. These models were compared with respect to validity (discriminating power and calibration characteristics) and practicability. Discriminating power was measured by the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) and calibration was assessed by weighted linear regression analysis between predicted and actual incidences of PONV. Practicability was assessed according to the number of factors to be considered for the model (the fewer factors the better), and whether the score could be used in combination with a previously applied cost‐effective concept.

Results. The incidence of PONV was 600/1566 (38.1%). The discriminating power (AUC) obtained by the models (named according to the first author) using the risk classes from the recommended prophylactic concept were as follows: Apfel, 0.68; Koivuranta, 0.66; Sinclair, 0.66; Palazzo, 0.63; Gan, 0.61; Scholz, 0.61. For four models, the following calibration curves (expressed as the slope and the offset) were plotted: Apfel, y=0.82x+0.01, r2=0.995; Koivuranta, y=1.13x–0.10, r2=0.999; Sinclair, y=0.49x+0.29, r2=0.789; Palazzo, y=0.30x+0.30, r2=0.763. The numbers of parameters to be considered were as follows: Apfel, 4; Koivuranta, 5; Palazzo, 5; Scholz, 9; Sinclair, 12; Gan, 14.

Conclusion. The simplified risk scores provided better discrimination and calibration properties compared with the more complex risk scores. Therefore, simplified risk scores can be recommended for antiemetic strategies in clinical practice as well as for group comparisons in randomized controlled antiemetic trials.

Br J Anaesth 2002; 88: 234–40

Keywords: Keywords: vomiting, nausea, postoperative; anaesthesia, general; statistics, risk score

Journal Article.  4311 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anaesthetics

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