Researchers have created a tool for predicting mortality in bronchiectasis patients based on the number and severity of disease exacerbations, according to research published in the International Journal of COPD.

The method can also predict how many disease-worsening episodes a patient can expect over a year, and in so doing, identify patients in special need of preventive treatment. A method to accurately predict such flares is also needed to evaluate if a treatment is effective during clinical trials.

Using a previously developed scale called FACED, researchers added data from 819 patients and experimented to see what kind of information best predicted future episodes.

FACED takes into account FEV1, age, chronic colonization by the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the number of lung lobes affected, and the presence of dyspnea (shortness of breath).

Researchers then added information about exacerbations (now E-FACED). The team discovered that adding the term “at least one exacerbation” best improved the FACED score.

“E-FACED score significantly increases the FACED capacity to predict future yearly exacerbations while maintaining the score’s simplicity and prognostic capacity for death,” the researchers concluded.