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Med J Aust. 2007 Sep 17;187(6):333-6.

A prospective reassessment of the utility of the Wells score in identifying pulmonary embolism.

Author information

  • 1Department of Nuclear Medicine, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia. kskyap@yahoo.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess whether a cumulative clinical risk score (Wells score) can optimise imaging strategies in patients with suspected pulmonary embolism (PE).

DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS:

Prospective, consecutive series of 633 studies on 595 patients referred to a major teaching hospital for ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) scanning for suspected acute PE between September 2004 and November 2005. Ventilation scintigraphy was performed using technetium-99m Technegas, and V/Q results were interpreted in conjunction with Wells scores.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Likelihood of PE for each Wells score interval; overall prevalence of PE.

RESULTS:

The likelihood of PE for a given Wells score in our study was not significantly different from the likelihood in the original study by Wells et al. Scores of < 2 in our study were associated with a 4% risk of PE, scores between 2 and 6 with a 13% risk, and scores > 6 with a 67% risk. The overall prevalence of PE in our study was significantly less than that in the original study (9% v 16%; P < 0.01), attributable to a significantly larger proportion of our patients having scores of < 2 (66% v 40%; P < 0.0001).

CONCLUSION:

The Wells score remains a robust clinical tool for stratifying the likelihood of PE. Patients with Wells scores of > 2 warrant imaging assessment for PE, but for those with scores < 2, further imaging may be problematic.

Comment in

PMID:
17874979
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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