Publications by authors named "Julia L M Bels"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Reply to Vijayakumar and Shah.

Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2021 06;203(11):1442-1443

Maastricht University Medical Centre Maastricht, the Netherlands.

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June 2021

Decreased serial scores of severe organ failure assessments are associated with survival in mechanically ventilated patients; the prospective Maastricht Intensive Care COVID cohort.

J Crit Care 2021 04 17;62:38-45. Epub 2020 Nov 17.

Department of Intensive Care, Maastricht University Medical Centre+, P. Debyelaan 25, 6202 AZ Maastricht, the Netherlands; Care and Public Health Research Institute (CAPHRI), Maastricht University, Universiteitssingel 40, 6229 ER Maastricht, the Netherlands. Electronic address:

Background: The majority of patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection are admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for mechanical ventilation. The role of multi-organ failure during ICU admission as driver for outcome remains to be investigated yet.

Design And Setting: Prospective cohort of mechanically ventilated critically ill with SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Participants And Methods: 94 participants of the MaastrICCht cohort (21% women) had a median length of stay of 16 days (maximum of 77). After division into survivors (n = 59) and non-survivors (n = 35), we analysed 1555 serial SOFA scores using linear mixed-effects models.

Results: Survivors improved one SOFA score point more per 5 days (95% CI: 4-8) than non-survivors. Adjustment for age, sex, and chronic lung, renal and liver disease, body-mass index, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular risk factors, and Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score did not change this result. This association was stronger for women than men (P-interaction = 0.043).

Conclusions: The decrease in SOFA score associated with survival suggests multi-organ failure involvement during mechanical ventilation in patients with SARS-CoV-2. Surviving women appeared to improve faster than surviving men. Serial SOFA scores may unravel an unfavourable trajectory and guide decisions in mechanically ventilated patients with SARS-CoV-2.
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April 2021

Serial measurements in COVID-19-induced acute respiratory disease to unravel heterogeneity of the disease course: design of the Maastricht Intensive Care COVID cohort (MaastrICCht).

BMJ Open 2020 09 29;10(9):e040175. Epub 2020 Sep 29.

Department of Intensive Care, Maastricht University Medical Center+, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Introduction: The course of the disease in SARS-CoV-2 infection in mechanically ventilated patients is unknown. To unravel the clinical heterogeneity of the SARS-CoV-2 infection in these patients, we designed the prospective observational Maastricht Intensive Care COVID cohort (MaastrICCht). We incorporated serial measurements that harbour aetiological, diagnostic and predictive information. The study aims to investigate the heterogeneity of the natural course of critically ill patients with a SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Methods And Analysis: Mechanically ventilated patients admitted to the intensive care with a SARS-CoV-2 infection will be included. We will collect clinical variables, vital parameters, laboratory variables, mechanical ventilator settings, chest electrical impedance tomography, ECGs, echocardiography as well as other imaging modalities to assess heterogeneity of the course of a SARS-CoV-2 infection in critically ill patients. The MaastrICCht is also designed to foster various other studies and registries and intends to create an open-source database for investigators. Therefore, a major part of the data collection is aligned with an existing national intensive care data registry and two international COVID-19 data collection initiatives. Additionally, we create a flexible design, so that additional measures can be added during the ongoing study based on new knowledge obtained from the rapidly growing body of evidence. The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic requires the swift implementation of observational research to unravel heterogeneity of the natural course of the disease of SARS-CoV-2 infection in mechanically ventilated patients. Our study design is expected to enhance aetiological, diagnostic and prognostic understanding of the disease. This paper describes the design of the MaastrICCht.

Ethics And Dissemination: Ethical approval has been obtained from the medical ethics committee (Medisch Ethische Toetsingscommissie 2020-1565/3 00 523) of the Maastricht University Medical Centre+ (Maastricht UMC+), which will be performed based on the Declaration of Helsinki. During the pandemic, the board of directors of Maastricht UMC+ adopted a policy to inform patients and ask their consent to use the collected data and to store serum samples for COVID-19 research purposes. All study documentation will be stored securely for fifteen years after recruitment of the last patient. The results will be published in peer-reviewed academic journals, with a preference for open access journals, while particularly considering deposition of the manuscripts on a preprint server early.

Trial Registration Number: The Netherlands Trial Register (NL8613).
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September 2020