Scoring Systems for Estimating Risk of Venous Thromboembolism in Hospitalized Medical Patients

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Abstract

Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism are associated with considerable morbidity and mortality in hospitalized patients, accounting for up to 10% of hospitalization-related deaths in both surgical and medical patients. Pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis has been demonstrated to be effective, safe, and cost-effective in preventing hospital-acquired venous thromboembolism (VTE) among medical inpatients, and clinician awareness of thrombotic risk promotes prescription of thromboprophylaxis. Guidelines recommend stratification of thrombotic risk for all patients and, unless contraindicated, administration of VTE prophylaxis. Based on several recognized predisposing and exposing risk factors for VTE, several scoring systems have been published in the past 15 years. Borrowing models developed in the surgical setting, recognized risk factors for VTE complications in medical inpatients have been combined in different weighted scores and derived and validated in heterogeneous medical populations. Although the perfect score, balancing thrombotic and hemorrhagic risk, has probably not yet been built, the adoption of an easy-to-use risk assessment model has the potential to support physicians in properly stratifying VTE risk in medical inpatients, tailoring thromboprophylaxis prescription.

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