Exclusion of deep vein thrombosis using the Wells rule in clinically important subgroups: individual patient data meta-analysis

G. J. Geersing*, N. P. A. Zuithoff, C. Kearon, D. R. Anderson, A. J. ten Cate-Hoek, J. L. Elf, S. M. Bates, A. W. Hoes, R. A. Kraaijenhagen, R. Oudega, R. E. G. Schutgens, S. M. Stevens, S. C. Woller, P. S. Wells, K. G. M. Moons

*Corresponding author for this work

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Objective To assess the accuracy of the Wells rule for excluding deep vein thrombosis and whether this accuracy applies to different subgroups of patients. Design Meta-analysis of individual patient data. Data sources Authors of 13 studies (n=10 002) provided their datasets, and these individual patient data were merged into one dataset. Eligibility criteria Studies were eligible if they enrolled consecutive outpatients with suspected deep vein thrombosis, scored all variables of the Wells rule, and performed an appropriate reference standard. Main outcome measures Multilevel logistic regression models, including an interaction term for each subgroup, were used to estimate differences in predicted probabilities of deep vein thrombosis by the Wells rule. In addition, D-dimer testing was added to assess differences in the ability to exclude deep vein thrombosis using an unlikely score on the Wells rule combined with a negative D-dimer test result. Results Overall, increasing scores on the Wells rule were associated with an increasing probability of having deep vein thrombosis. Estimated probabilities were almost twofold higher in patients with cancer, in patients with suspected recurrent events, and (to a lesser extent) in males. An unlikely score on the Wells rule (
Original languageEnglish
Article numberg1340
JournalBMJ (e)
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2014

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