Combined use of clinical assessment and d-dimer to improve the management of patients presenting to the emergency department with suspected deep vein thrombosis (the EDITED Study)

D R Anderson, M J Kovacs, G Kovacs, I Stiell, M Mitchell, V Khoury, J Dryer, J Ward, P S Wells
Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis: JTH 2003, 1 (4): 645-51
Suspected deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a common problem facing emergency physicians. Timely diagnostic testing must be performed to accurately identify patients with DVT. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a management strategy that combined consideration of clinical pretest probability and a d-dimer test to evaluate patients presenting to the emergency department with suspected deep vein thrombosis (DVT). A prospective cohort study was performed in the emergency departments of four tertiary care institutions involving 1075 patients with suspected DVT. An emergency physician determined the pretest probability for DVT to be low, moderate, or high using an explicit clinical model. A blood sample was taken for d-dimer testing. Subsequent investigations (compression ultrasound, venography) were performed based upon the pretest probability and the d-dimer result. Patients considered at low pretest probability with negative d-dimer had no further diagnostic testing performed. All patients in whom the diagnosis of DVT was excluded by the algorithm did not receive anticoagulant therapy and were followed up for 90 days for the development of proximal DVT or pulmonary embolism. Overall, 195 (18.1%; 95% CI 15.9% to 20.6%) of 1075 patients were confirmed to have proximal DVT. Of the 882 patients who had proximal DVT excluded during the initial evaluation period using the algorithms, four (0.5%; 95% CI 0.1% to 1.2%) were subsequently diagnosed with proximal DVT in the follow-up period, including three patients in the low pretest probability group (1.0%; 95% CI 0.2% to 2.1%) who had normal d-dimer and no additional diagnostic testing performed. None of the 882 patients (0%: 95% CI 0% to 0.5%) developed pulmonary embolism in the follow-up period. A diagnostic strategy for the evaluation of patients with suspected DVT based on pretest probability and d-dimer is safe and feasible in the emergency department setting.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"