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J Thromb Haemost. 2012 Jun;10(6):1019-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1538-7836.2012.04735.x.

Predicting disease recurrence in patients with previous unprovoked venous thromboembolism: a proposed prediction score (DASH).

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



In patients with unprovoked venous thromboembolism (VTE), the optimal duration of anticoagulation is anchored on estimating the risk of disease recurrence.


We aimed to develop a score that could predict the recurrence risk following a first episode of unprovoked VTE, pooling individual patient data from seven prospective studies.


One thousand eight hundred and eighteen cases with unprovoked VTE treated for at least 3 months with a vitamin K antagonist were available for analysis. Optimism-corrected Cox regression coefficients were used to develop a recurrence score that was subsequently internally validated by bootstrap analysis.


Abnormal D-dimer after stopping anticoagulation, age <50 years, male sex and VTE not associated with hormonal therapy (in women) were the main predictors of recurrence and were used to derive a prognostic recurrence score (DASH, D-dimer, Age, Sex, Hormonal therapy) showing a satisfactory predictive capability (ROC area =0.71). The annualized recurrence risk was 3.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.3-3.9) for a score ≤ 1, 6.4% (95% CI, 4.8-7.9) for a score=2 and 12.3% (95% CI, 9.9-14.7) for a score ≥ 3. By considering at low recurrence risk those patients with a score ≤ 1, life-long anticoagulation might be avoided in about half of patients with unprovoked VTE.


The DASH prediction rule appears to predict recurrence risk in patients with a first unprovoked VTE and may be useful to decide whether anticoagulant therapy should be continued indefinitely or stopped after an initial treatment period of at least 3 months.

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