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      Calc Function

    • Calcs that help predict probability of a diseaseDiagnosis
    • Subcategory of 'Diagnosis' designed to be very sensitiveRule Out
    • Disease is diagnosed: prognosticate to guide treatmentPrognosis
    • Numerical inputs and outputsFormula
    • Med treatment and moreTreatment
    • Suggested protocolsAlgorithm





    Chief Complaint


    Organ System


    Patent Pending

    Karnofsky Performance Status Scale

    Determines ability of patient to tolerate chemotherapy.


    For patients ≥ 16 years old. Useful to use over time to track disease progression.
    When to Use
    Why Use

    Patients with advancing cancer or other chronic diseases — or even frailty progression in the elderly.

    • The Karnofsky Performance Status Scale (KPS) is used extensively and for many purposes, including response to chemotherapy in cancer and chronic disease assessment.
    • It quantifies a patient's functional abilities and impact of treatments like chemotherapy on their basic functional capacities.
    • It is sometimes also used prognostically and to help determine treatment.

    Performance status is highly correlated with survival time and need for services in the home. It may also help predict ability to thrive with invasive and intensive treatment.

    Normal no complaints; no evidence of disease
    Able to carry on normal activity; minor signs or symptoms of disease
    Normal activity with effort; some signs or symptoms of disease
    Cares for self; unable to carry on normal activity or to do active work
    Requires occasional assistance, but is able to care for most of his personal needs
    Requires considerable assistance and frequent medical care
    Disabled; requires special care and assistance
    Severely disabled; hospital admission is indicated although death not imminent
    Very sick; hospital admission necessary; active supportive treatment necessary
    Moribund; fatal processes progressing rapidly


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    Next Steps
    Creator Insights
    Dr. David Karnofsky

    About the Creator

    David A. Karnofsky, MD, (d. 1969) was an oncologist at Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research. He specialized in cancer chemotherapy and affiliated with the division of experimental chemotherapy.

    To view Dr. David Karnofsky's publications, visit PubMed

    Are you Dr. David Karnofsky? Send us a message to review your photo and bio, and find out how to submit Creator Insights!
    MDCalc loves calculator creators – researchers who, through intelligent and often complex methods, discover tools that describe scientific facts that can then be applied in practice. These are real scientific discoveries about the nature of the human body, which can be invaluable to physicians taking care of patients.
    About the Creator
    Dr. David Karnofsky
    Are you Dr. David Karnofsky?