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Comparison of the Use of Administrative Data and an Active System for Surveillance of Invasive Aspergillosis

Douglas C. Chang , MD, Lauren A. Burwell , MD, G. Marshall Lyon , MD, MMSc, Peter G. Pappas , MD, Tom M. Chiller , MD, MPH, Kathleen A. Wannemuehler , PhD, Scott K. Fridkin , MD and Benjamin J. Park , MD
Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
Vol. 29, No. 1 (January 2008), pp. 25-30
DOI: 10.1086/524324
Stable URL:
Page Count: 6
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Comparison of the Use of Administrative Data and an Active System for Surveillance of Invasive Aspergillosis
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Background.  Administrative data, such as International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD‐9) codes, are readily available and are an attractive option for surveillance and quality assessment within a single institution or for interinstitutional comparisons. To understand the usefulness of administrative data for the surveillance of invasive aspergillosis, we compared information obtained from a system based on ICD‐9 codes with information obtained from an active, prospective surveillance system, which used more extensive case‐finding methods (Transplant Associated Infection Surveillance Network). Methods.  Patients with suspected invasive aspergillosis were identified by aspergillosis‐related ICD‐9 codes assigned to hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients and solid organ transplant recipients at a single hospital from April 1, 2001, through January 31, 2005. Suspected cases were classified as proven or probable invasive aspergillosis by medical record review using standard definitions. We calculated the sensitivity and positive predictive value (PPV) of identifying invasive aspergillosis by individual ICD‐9 codes and by combinations of codes. Results.  The sensitivity of code 117.3 was modest (63% [95% confidence interval {CI}, 38%–84%]), as was the PPV (71% [95% CI, 44%‐90%]); the sensitivity of code 117.9 was poor (32% [95% CI, 13%‐57%]), as was the PPV (15% [95% CI, 6%‐31%]). The sensitivity of codes 117.3 and 117.9 combined was 84% (95% CI, 60%‐97%); the PPV of the combined codes was 30% (95% CI, 18%‐44%). Overall, ICD‐9 codes triggered a review of medical records for 64 medical patients, only 16 (25%) of whom had proven or probable invasive aspergillosis. Conclusions.  A surveillance system that involved multiple ICD‐9 codes was sufficiently sensitive to identify most cases of invasive aspergillosis; however, the poor PPV of ICD‐9 codes means that this approach is not adequate as the sole tool used to classify cases. Screening ICD‐9 codes to trigger a medical record review might be a useful method of surveillance for invasive aspergillosis and quality assessment, although more investigation is needed.

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