Special Articles
9 January 2018

Diagnosis of Venous Thromboembolism: 20 Years of Progress

Publication: Annals of Internal Medicine
Volume 168, Number 2


Many guidelines suggest incorporating clinical assessment, imaging, and D-dimer testing into diagnostic algorithms in patients with suspected deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). This special article reviews the evidence supporting the use of algorithms and their individual components for diagnosis of upper- and lower-extremity DVT and PE in adults, including pregnant women. The authors identified evidence through several electronic database searches to April 2017, evaluated the robustness of selected evidence, assessed whether diagnostic approaches that do not use algorithms are acceptable, and identified knowledge gaps that require further research.

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Information & Authors


Published In

cover image Annals of Internal Medicine
Annals of Internal Medicine
Volume 168Number 216 January 2018
Pages: 131 - 140


Published online: 9 January 2018
Published in issue: 16 January 2018




Philip S. Wells, MD, MSc
University of Ottawa, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, and Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (P.S.W., M.A.F.)
Ryma Ihaddadene, BHSc, MSc
University of Ottawa and Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (R.I., A.R.)
Aoife Reilly, BSc
University of Ottawa and Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (R.I., A.R.)
Melissa Anne Forgie, MD, MSc
University of Ottawa, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, and Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (P.S.W., M.A.F.)
Disclosures: Dr. Wells reports speaker fees from Bayer HealthCare and Daiichi Sankyo, personal fees from Itreas and Janssen, and grant support from Pfizer/Bristol-Myers Squibb and Bayer HealthCare outside the submitted work. Authors not named here have disclosed no conflicts of interest. Disclosures can also be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M17-0291.
Editors' Disclosures: Christine Laine, MD, MPH, Editor in Chief, reports that she has no financial relationships or interests to disclose. Darren B. Taichman, MD, PhD, Executive Deputy Editor, reports that he has no financial relationships or interests to disclose. Cynthia D. Mulrow, MD, MSc, Senior Deputy Editor, reports that she has no relationships or interests to disclose. Deborah Cotton, MD, MPH, Deputy Editor, reports that she has no financial relationships or interest to disclose. Jaya K. Rao, MD, MHS, Deputy Editor, reports that she has stock holdings/options in Eli Lilly and Pfizer. Sankey V. Williams, MD, Deputy Editor, reports that he has no financial relationships or interests to disclose. Catharine B. Stack, PhD, MS, Deputy Editor for Statistics, reports that she has stock holdings in Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.
Corresponding Author: Philip S. Wells, MD, MSc, Department of Medicine, Ottawa Hospital General Campus, 501 Smyth Road, Box 206, Ottawa, Ontario K1H 8L6, Canada; e-mail, [email protected].
Current Author Addresses: Drs. Wells and Forgie, Ms. Ihaddadene, and Ms. Reilly: Department of Medicine, Ottawa Hospital General Campus, 501 Smyth Road, Box 206, Ottawa, Ontario K1H 8L6, Canada.
Author Contributions: Conception and design: P.S. Wells, R. Ihaddadene, M.A. Forgie.
Analysis and interpretation of the data: P.S. Wells, R. Ihaddadene, A. Reilly, M.A. Forgie.
Drafting of the article: P.S. Wells, R. Ihaddadene, M.A. Forgie.
Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: P.S. Wells, R. Ihaddadene, M.A. Forgie.
Final approval of the article: P.S. Wells, R. Ihaddadene, A. Reilly, M.A. Forgie.
Provision of study materials or patients: P.S. Wells, M.A. Forgie.
Statistical expertise: P.S. Wells, M.A. Forgie.
Obtaining of funding: P.S. Wells, M.A. Forgie.
Administrative, technical, or logistic support: P.S. Wells, M.A. Forgie.
Collection and assembly of data: P.S. Wells, R. Ihaddadene, A. Reilly, M.A. Forgie.
This article was published at Annals.org on 9 January 2018.

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Philip S. Wells, Ryma Ihaddadene, Aoife Reilly, et al. Diagnosis of Venous Thromboembolism: 20 Years of Progress. Ann Intern Med.2018;168:131-140. [Epub 9 January 2018]. doi:10.7326/M17-0291

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