External Validation of the Hestia Criteria for Identifying Acute Pulmonary Embolism Patients at Low Risk of Early Mortality

Clin Appl Thromb Hemost. 2017 Oct;23(7):769-774. doi: 10.1177/1076029616651147. Epub 2016 May 25.


Introduction: There are limited studies evaluating the ability of the Hestia criteria to accurately identify patients with acute pulmonary embolism (PE) at low risk of early mortality. We sought to externally validate the Hestia criteria for predicting in-hospital and 30-day post-PE mortality.

Methods: We retrospectively identified consecutive, adult, objectively confirmed PE patients presenting to the emergency department at our institution from November 21, 2010, to January 31, 2014. We ascertained the total number of Hestia criteria met for each patient, calculated the proportion of patients categorized as low risk (ie, no Hestia criteria met), and determined the accuracy of the Hestia criteria for predicting in-hospital and 30-day all-cause mortality. Mortality was determined through Social Security Death Index searches.

Results: A total of 577 patients with PE were included, of which 19 (3.3%) and 35 (6.6%) died in hospital or within 30 days of presentation. Both in-hospital and 30-day case fatality rates rose as the number of Hestia criteria increased. One-hundred forty nine (25.8%) patients were classified as low risk for early mortality, and none of these patients died within 30 days (negative predictive values of 100%). The Hestia criteria had excellent sensitivity (100%, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 79.1%-100% and 100%, 95% CI = 87.7%-100%) for predicting in-hospital and 30-day mortality but low specificity (<27.5% for both). The c-statistics for in-hospital and 30-day mortality were 83.5%, 95% CI = 77.1%-89.9% and 78.5%, 95% CI = 71.9%-85.1%. The predictive accuracy of the Hestia criteria remained acceptable in patients >80 years of age, with active cancer or chronic cardiopulmonary disease.

Conclusion: The Hestia criteria have an acceptable predictive accuracy to identify patients with PE at low risk for in-hospital or 30-day mortality.

Keywords: Hestia; mortality; prognosis; pulmonary embolism; risk assessment; severity of illness index.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Pulmonary Embolism / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Embolism / mortality*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Risk Assessment / standards
  • Severity of Illness Index*