Background Accurate and early identification of high‐risk surgical patients with perforated peptic ulcer (PPU) is important for triage and risk stratification. The objective
of the present study was to develop a new and improved clinical rule to predict mortality in patients following surgical treatment for PPU. Methods Design:
nationwide cohort study based on prospectively collected data. Setting: thirty‐five hospitals in Denmark. Patients: a total of 2668 patients surgically treated for gastric or duodenal PPU between 1 February
2003 and 31 August 2009. Outcome measure: 30‐day mortality. Results We derived a new clinical prediction rule for 30‐day mortality and evaluated
and compared its prognostic performance with the American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA) and Boey scores. A total of 708 patients (27%) died within 30 days of surgery. The Peptic Ulcer
Perforation (PULP) score – comprised eight variables with an adjusted odds ratio of more than 1.28: 1) age > 65 years, 2) active malignant disease or AIDS, 3) liver cirrhosis, 4) steroid use, 5) time from perforation
to admission > 24 h, 6) pre‐operative shock, 7) serum creatinine > 130 μM, and 8) the four levels of the ASA score (from 2 to 5). The score predicted mortality well (area under receiver operating characteristics
curve (AUC) 0.83). It performed considerably better than the Boey score (AUC 0.70) and better than the ASA score alone (AUC 0.78). Conclusion The PULP score accurately predicts 30‐day mortality in patients operated for PPU and can assist in risk stratification and triage.