VTE is the proximate cause of 100,000 deaths in the United States each year. Perioperative VTE risk among surgical patients varies by 20-fold, which highlights the importance of risk stratification to identify high-risk patients, in whom chemoprophylaxis can decrease VTE risk, and low-risk patients, for whom the risk-benefit relationship of prophylaxis may be unfavorable.
We used data from a statewide surgical quality collaborative for surgical procedures performed between 2010 and 2012. Regression-based techniques identified predictors of 90-day VTE while adjusting for procedural complexity and comorbid conditions. A weighted risk index was created and was validated subsequently in a separate, independent dataset.
Data were available for 10,344 patients, who were allocated randomly to a derivation or validation cohort. The 90-day VTE rate was 1.4%; 66.2% of the derivation cohort and 65.5% of the validation cohort received chemoprophylaxis. Seven risk factors were incorporated into a weighted risk index: personal history of VTE, current cancer, sepsis/septic shock/systemic inflammatory response syndrome, age ≥ 60 years, BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2, male sex, and family history of VTE. Prediction for 90-day VTE was similar in the derivation and validation cohorts (areas under the receiver operator curve, 0.72 and 0.70, respectively). An 18-fold variation in 90-day VTE rate was identified.
A weighted risk index quantifies 90-day VTE risk among surgical patients and identifies an 18-fold variation in VTE risk among the overall surgical population.