Choosing Wisely:

Don’t test for thrombophilia in adult patients with venous thromboembolism (VTE) occurring in the setting of major transient risk factors (surgery, trauma, or prolonged immobility).

Rationale and Comments: Thrombophilia testing is costly and can result in harm to patients if the duration of anticoagulation is inappropriately prolonged or if patients are incorrectly labeled as thrombophilic. Thrombophilia testing does not change the management of VTEs occurring in the setting of major transient VTE risk factors. When VTE occurs in the setting of pregnancy or hormonal therapy, or when there is a strong family history plus a major transient risk factor, the role of thrombophilia testing is complex and patients and clinicians are advised to seek guidance from an expert in VTE.
Sponsoring Organizations:
  • American Society of Hematology
  • Sources:
  • National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines
  • Disciplines:
  • Hematologic
  • References: • Chong LY, Fenu E, Stansby G, Hodgkinson S. Management of venous thromboembolic diseases and the role of thrombophilia testing: summary of NICE guidance. BMJ. 2012 Jun 27;344:e3979.
    • Baglin T, Gray E, Greaves M, Hunt BJ, Keeling D, Machin S, Mackie I, Makris M, Nokes T, Perry D, Tait RC, Walker I, Watson H; British Committee for Standards in Hematology. Clinical guidelines for testing for heritable thrombophilia. Br J Haematol. 2010 Apr;149(2):209-20.

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