Background The IMPROVE score is a validated venous thromboembolism (VTE) assessment tool to risk stratify hospitalized, medically ill patients based on clinical variables. It was hypothesized that addition of D-dimer measurement to derive a new IMPROVEDD score would improve identification of at risk of VTE. Methods The association of the IMPROVE score and D-dimer ≥ 2 × the upper limit of normal (ULN) with the risk of symptomatic deep vein thrombosis, nonfatal pulmonary embolism, or VTE-related death was evaluated in 7,441 hospitalized, medically ill patients randomized in the APEX trial. Based on the Cox regression analysis, the IMPROVEDD score was derived by adding two points to the IMPROVE score if the D-dimer was ≥ 2 × ULN. Results Baseline D-dimer was independently associated with symptomatic VTE through 77 days (adjusted HR: 2.22 [95% CI: 1.38-1.58], p = 0.001). Incorporation of D-dimer into the IMPROVE score improved VTE risk discrimination (ΔAUC: 0.06 [95% CI: 0.02-0.09], p = 0.0006) and reclassification (continuous NRI: 0.34 [95% CI: 0.17-0.51], p = 0.001; categorical NRI: 0.13 [95% CI: 0.03-0.23], p = 0.0159). Patients with an IMPROVEDD score of ≥2 had a greater VTE risk compared with those with an IMPROVEDD score of 0 to 1 (HR: 2.73 [95% CI: 1.52-4.90], p = 0.0007). Conclusion Incorporation of D-dimer into the IMPROVE VTE risk assessment model further improves risk stratification in hospitalized, medically ill patients who received thromboprophylaxis. An IMPROVEDD score of ≥2 identifies hospitalized, medically ill patients with a heightened risk for VTE through 77 days.
Keywords: D-dimer; risk assessment model; thromboprophylaxis; venous thromboembolism.