A Quicker VTE Test?


A new risk prediction model for venous thromboembolism (VTE) that was validated in a recent study in England may portend a quicker way to test patients in the U.S.

A research team from the University of Nottingham in England developed an algorithm to measure a patient’s risk for VTE using data points often already collected by hospitalists, including information about chronic renal disease, heart failure, and body mass index. In the study, the risk prediction equation explained 33% of the variation in women and 34% in men in the validation cohort evaluated at five years (BMJ. 2011;343:d4656). The report added that the D statistic was 1.43 for women and 1.45 for men, while the receiver operating curve statistic was 0.75 for both sexes.

The researchers then created a website where physicians can input a set of data points on patients and generate a risk profile.

"The algorithm should be validated in the U.S., though we have no reason to think it won’t work in the U.S.," senior author Julia Hippisley-Cox, MD, FRCGP, MRCP, professor of clinical epidemiology and general practice at the University of Nottingham wrote in an email. "And assuming it performs well, then it could be used by hospital doctors to systematically risk assess patients for VTE risk on admission. Patients at high risk could be given prophylaxis."

Dr. Hippisley-Cox says it's too early to tell if the site will become a popular reference tool.

"The algorithm is published as open-source software, so anyone can use it for research," she writes. It "would be ... interesting to have a team of academics in the U.S. use it in a research project."

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