Current Utility of Sequential Organ Failure Assessment Score: A Literature Review and Future Directions

Rahul Kashyap1
, Khalid M. Sherani2, 3
, Taru Dutt4
, Karthik Gnanapandithan5
, Malvika Sagar6
, Saraschandra Vallabhajosyula7
, Abhay P. Vakil6, 7
, Salim Surani3, 8, *

1 Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, Jamaica, NY 11418, USA
3 Corpus Christi Medical Center, Corpus Christi, TX 78411, USA
4 Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN, USA and Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN 55905, USA
5 Department of Internal Medicine, Yale-New Haven Hospital and Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA
6 Department of Pediatrics, McLane Children’s Hospital, Baylor Scott and White Health, Temple, TX 76502, USA
7 Critical Care Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA
8 Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, Bryan, TX 77807, USA

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Creative Commons License
© 2021 Kashyap et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Correspondence: Address correspondence to this author at the Corpus Christi Medical Center, TX, 701 Ayers Street Corpus Christi, Texas 78404, USA and Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, Bryan, TX 77807, USA;
Tel: +1–361-8857722 ;


The Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score is commonly used in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to evaluate, prognosticate and assess patients. Since its validation, the SOFA score has served in various settings, including medical, trauma, surgical, cardiac, and neurological ICUs. It has been a strong mortality predictor and literature over the years has documented the ability of the SOFA score to accurately distinguish survivors from non-survivors on admission. Over the years, multiple variations have been proposed to the SOFA score, which have led to the evolution of alternate validated scoring models replacing one or more components of the SOFA scoring system. Various SOFA based models have been used to evaluate specific clinical populations, such as patients with cardiac dysfunction, hepatic failure, renal failure, different races and public health illnesses, etc. This study is aimed to conduct a review of modifications in SOFA score in the past several years. We review the literature evaluating various modifications to the SOFA score such as modified SOFA, Modified SOFA, modified Cardiovascular SOFA, Extra-renal SOFA, Chronic Liver Failure SOFA, Mexican SOFA, quick SOFA, Lactic acid quick SOFA (LqSOFA), SOFA in hematological malignancies, SOFA with Richmond Agitation-Sedation scale and Pediatric SOFA. Various organ systems, their relevant scoring and the proposed modifications in each of these systems are presented in detail. There is a need to incorporate the most recent literature into the SOFA scoring system to make it more relevant and accurate in this rapidly evolving critical care environment. For future directions, we plan to put together most if not all updates in SOFA score and probably validate it in a large database a single institution and validate it in multisite data base.

Keywords: SOFA, Critical care medicine, Prognostication, Mortality prediction, Intensive care unit, Chronic liver failure.