Clinical characteristics and outcome of inpatients versus outpatients with venous thromboembolism

Findings from the RIETE Registry
Published:August 02, 2010DOI:



      Patients with venous thromboembolism (VTE) treated with anticoagulants are at risk of death from pulmonary embolism (PE) and/or bleeding. However, whether patients who develop VTE in hospital have a higher complication rate than those who develop VTE in an outpatient setting is unclear.

      Patients and methods

      RIETE is an ongoing, prospective registry of consecutive patients with acute, objectively confirmed, symptomatic VTE. We compared the 3-month incidence of fatal PE and fatal bleeding in patients in whom the VTE had developed while in hospital for another medical condition (inpatients) with those who presented to the emergency ward because of VTE (outpatients).


      Up to April 2008, 22,133 patients with acute VTE were enrolled: 10,461 (47%) presented with PE, 11,672 with deep vein thrombosis. Overall, 6445 (29%) were inpatients. During the study period, those who developed VTE as inpatients had a significantly higher incidence of fatal PE (2.1% vs. 1.5%; odds ratio: 1.4; 95% CI: 1.1–1.7), overall death (7.0% vs. 5.4%; odds ratio: 1.3; 95% CI: 1.2–1.5), and major bleeding (2.9% vs. 2.1%; odds ratio: 1.4; 95% CI: 1.1–1.6) than outpatients. The incidence of fatal bleeding was not significantly increased (0.7% vs. 0.5%; odds ratio: 1.2; 95% CI: 0.9–1.8). In multivariable analysis, inpatient status was significantly associated with a higher risk for fatal PE (odds ratio: 1.3; 95% CI: 1.1–1.7).


      VTE occurring in hospitalized patients carries a significantly higher risk for death of PE than in outpatients, underscoring the importance of VTE prevention strategies in the hospital setting.


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