External validation of prognostic rules for early post-pulmonary embolism mortality: assessment of a claims-based and three clinical-based approaches

Thromb J. 2016 Mar 14;14:7. doi: 10.1186/s12959-016-0081-5. eCollection 2016.


Background: Studies show the In-hospital Mortality for Pulmonary embolism using Claims daTa (IMPACT) rule can accurately identify pulmonary embolism (PE) patients at low-risk of early mortality in a retrospective setting using only claims for the index admission. We sought to externally validate IMPACT, Pulmonary Embolism Severity Index (PESI), simplified PESI (sPESI) and Hestia for predicting early mortality.

Methods: We identified consecutive adults admitted for objectively-confirmed PE between 10/21/2010 and 5/12/2015. Patients undergoing thrombolysis/embolectomy within 48 h were excluded. All-cause in-hospital and 30 day mortality (using available Social Security Death Index data through January 2014) were assessed and prognostic accuracies of IMPACT, PESI, sPESI and Hestia were determined.

Results: Twenty-one (2.6 %) of the 807 PE patients died before discharge. All rules classified 26.1-38.3 % of patients as low-risk for early mortality. Fatality among low-risk patients was 0 % (sPESI and Hestia), 0.4 % (IMPACT) and 0.6 % (PESI). IMPACT's sensitivity was 95.2 % (95 % confidence interval [CI] = 74.1-99.8 %), and the sensitivities of clinical rules ranged from 91 (PESI)-100 % (sPESI and Hestia). Specificities of all rules ranged between 26.8 and 39.1 %. Of 573 consecutive patients in the 30 day mortality analysis, 33 (5.8 %) died. All rules classified 27.9-38.0 % of patients as low-risk, and fatality occurred in 0 (Hestia)-1.4 % (PESI) of low-risk patients. IMPACT's sensitivity was 97.0 % (95%CI = 82.5-99.8 %), while sensitivities for clinical rules ranged from 91 (PESI)-100 % (Hestia). Specificities of rules ranged between 29.6 and 39.8 %.

Conclusion: In this analysis, IMPACT identified low-risk PE patients with similar accuracy as clinical rules. While not intended for prospective clinical decision-making, IMPACT appears useful for identification of low-risk PE patient in retrospective claims-based studies.

Keywords: Mortality; Prognosis; Pulmonary embolism; Risk assessment; Severity of illness index.