Discrepancies Between Clinical Diagnoses and Autopsy Findings in Critically Ill Children: A Prospective Study.


OBJECTIVES To evaluate the discrepancies between clinical and autopsy diagnoses in patients who died in the pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) of a tertiary care university hospital. METHODS A prospective study of all consecutive autopsies discussed at monthly mortality conferences over 5 years. Discrepancies between premortem and autopsy diagnoses were classified according to modified Goldman et al criteria. RESULTS From January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2015, a total of 2,679 children were admitted to the two PICUs of our hospital; 257 (9.6%) died, 150 (58.4%) underwent autopsy, and 123 were included. Complete concordance between clinical and postmortem diagnoses was observed in 86 (69.9%) patients; 20 (16.3%) had a class I discrepancy, and eight (6.5%) had a class II discrepancy. Comparing 2011 and 2015, the rate of major discrepancies decreased from 31.6% to 15%. CONCLUSIONS Our results emphasize the importance of autopsy to clarify the cause of death and its potential contribution to improvement of team performance and quality of care.


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