Use of ICD-10 codes for identification of injection drug use–associated infective endocarditis is nonspecific and obscures critical findings on impact of medications for opioid use disorder

Laura R. Marks, Nathanial S. Nolan, Linda Jiang, Dharushana Muthulingam, Stephen Y. Liang, Michael J. Durkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background. No International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision (ICD-10), diagnosis code exists for injection drug use–associated infective endocarditis (IDU-IE). Instead, public health researchers regularly use combinations of nonspecific ICD-10 codes to identify IDU-IE; however, the accuracy of these codes has not been evaluated. Methods. We compared commonly used ICD-10 diagnosis codes for IDU-IE with a prospectively collected patient cohort diagnosed with IDU-IE at Barnes-Jewish Hospital to determine the accuracy of ICD-10 diagnosis codes used in IDU-IE research. Results. ICD-10 diagnosis codes historically used to identify IDU-IE were inaccurate, missing 36.0% and misclassifying 56.4% of patients prospectively identified in this cohort. Use of these nonspecific ICD-10 diagnosis codes resulted in substantial biases against the benefit of medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) with relation to both AMA discharge and all-cause mortality. Specifically, when data from all patients with ICD-10 code combinations suggestive of IDU-IE were used, MOUD was associated with an increased risk of AMA discharge (relative risk [RR], 1.12; 95% CI, 0.48–2.64). In contrast, when only patients confirmed by chart review as having IDU-IE were analyzed, MOUD was protective (RR, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.19–1.22). Use of MOUD was associated with a protective effect in time to all-cause mortality in Kaplan-Meier analysis only when confirmed IDU-IE cases were analyzed (P = .007). Conclusions. Studies using nonspecific ICD-10 diagnosis codes for IDU-IE should be interpreted with caution. In the setting of an ongoing overdose crisis and a syndemic of infectious complications, a specific ICD-10 diagnosis code for IDU-IE is urgently needed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOpen Forum Infectious Diseases
Volume7
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

Keywords

  • Endocarditis
  • ICD-10
  • Medications for opioid use disorder
  • Opioid use disorder
  • Persons who inject drugs

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