Development and validation of the European QUALity (EQUAL) Score for Mucormycosis Management in Haematology

Philipp Koehler, Sibylle Mellinghoff, Katrien Lagrou, Alexandre Alanio, Dorothee Arenz, Martin Hoenigl, Felix C. Koehler, Cornelia Lass-Flörl, Jacques F Meis, Malcolm Richardson, Oliver A. Cornely

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Mucormycosis is a life-threatening infection in immunocompromised patients and in haematological malignancy patients in particular.
To develop and evaluate a scoring tool to measure adherence to current guidelines of mucormycosis.
Current guidelines of scientific societies on mucormycosis management were reviewed. We assembled diagnostic, treatment and follow-up milestones and designed the EQUAL Mucormycosis Score. The EQUAL Mucormycosis Score was evaluated in the ECMM Excellence Centres.
An 18-item tool with one to three points per item resulted in a maximum achievable score depending on disease complexity and ranging from 25 to 32 points. Given variable patient disease course, the diagnostic score is higher in patients with positive fungal culture and biopsy, thus reflecting more decision points and higher management complexity. Eleven patients from two centres were included during the study period. A total of 200 EQUAL Mucormycosis Score points were achieved, which is 62.7% of the maximum EQUAL Mucormycosis Score of 319 points achievable in that cohort (median 18 points, range 7-27). Total score accomplished for diagnostic procedures was 112 of 165 points (67.9%), for first-line treatment 54 of 88 (61.4%), and for follow-up management 34 of 66 points (51.5%).
The EQUAL Mucormycosis Score quantitates adherence to current guideline recommendations for mucormycosis management. With 62.7% of maximum achievable score points a first result is obtained that may serve as reference for future evaluations. Whether guideline adherence and mortality rates correlate, remains to be shown.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Early online date15 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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