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J Thromb Haemost. 2011 Jun;9(6):1143-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1538-7836.2011.04265.x.

Prospective evaluation of the clinical utility of quantitative bleeding severity assessment in patients referred for hemostatic evaluation.

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Department of Hematology, San Bortolo Hospital, Vicenza, Italy.



Quantitative bleeding assessment tools (BATs) have been used to describe the severity of the bleeding phenotype in patients with von Willebrand disease.


To evaluate the clinical usefulness of a BAT for the diagnosis of mild bleeding disorders (MBDs) in previously undiagnosed patients.


We prospectively assessed 215 patients who were consecutively referred for evaluation of bleeding symptoms (n=71), abnormal laboratory clotting test results (n=105) or family investigation (n=39) at two second-level centers. The bleeding history was assessed by a young investigator who administered the BAT instrument, and also by a senior physician who independently evaluated the patient and made the final diagnoses. Sensitivity, specificity, negative predictive value (NPV) and positive predictive value (PPV) were computed for a predefined bleeding score (BS) cut-off (BS of >3). Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to establish a diagnostic prediction rule.


Assuming the prevalence of MBD in the general population to be ∼1%, a normal BS (≤3) had a very high NPV (99.2%). The PPVs in patients referred for hemostatic or family evaluation at second-level clinics were estimated to be 71.0% and 77.5% (assuming MDB prevalences of 20% and 50%, respectively, in these settings). Measurement of BS in addition to activated partial thromboplastin time significantly increased the diagnostic efficiency of the BAT instrument (NPV of 99.6%).


BAT use improves the evaluation of patients with suspected MBD, and we propose its use in a clinical prediction guide based on BAT and activated partial thromboplastin time for the exclusion of patients with suspected MBD in a low-prevalence setting.

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