Surveillance for Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism. Recommendations from a National Workshop

Gary E. Raskob, Roy Silverstein, Dale W. Bratzler, John A. Heit, Richard H. White

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Abstract: Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), known collectively as venous thromboembolism (VTE), affect an estimated 900,000 people in the U.S. each year, resulting in several hundred thousand hospitalizations and about 300,000 deaths. Despite this substantial public health burden, no systematic collection of VTE-related morbidity and mortality data exists in the U.S. The available information about disease prevalence and incidence consists of estimates based mainly on population-based epidemiologic studies and analysis of hospital discharge or health insurance claims databases. The limited scope of the available data has raised the question of whether a systematic surveillance system for VTE should be established. To help answer this question and to make recommendations for the next steps toward better surveillance of VTE, the CDC asked the American Society of Hematology (ASH) to convene a national workshop of stakeholders representing relevant federal agencies, experts in VTE epidemiology and treatment, public health experts in VTE, and patient representatives. These groups were assembled by ASH for a 1-day meeting in Washington DC. The subspecialty experts included representatives from internal medicine, cardiovascular diseases, adult and pediatric hematology, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, radiology, emergency medicine and trauma care, hospital practice and critical care, and geriatrics. Experts in epidemiology, healthcare quality, and health policy also participated. During the workshop, experts discussed their perspectives on the burden of disease from VTE and its diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. The workshop also focused on the advisability and feasibility of establishing systematic surveillance for VTE and included preliminary discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of various approaches. The workshop concluded that (1) improved utilization in clinical practice of existing, proven-effective preventive measures is critical to reducing the disease burden from VTE; (2) systematic surveillance of DVT and PE is needed to provide nationally representative data on the prevalence and annual incidence of DVT and PE in the U.S.; (3) tracking and documenting changes in the incidence of DVT and PE through systematic surveillance will be important to enhance prevention efforts; and (4) the CDC should convene a second group of experts to advise the agency in detail on the strengths, weaknesses, and feasibility of possible approaches to systematic surveillance for DVT and PE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S502-S509
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number4 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Apr 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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