GP tool effective at ruling out PE

Almost half of patients with suspected pulmonary embolism can have the diagnosis safely and reliably ruled out in general practice, a study suggests.

The Dutch research found that a low score on the Wells Rule clinical decision tool, combined with a negative D-dimer test, correctly excluded PE in 45% of patients, avoiding referral and further testing.

Just four of these patients (1.5%) proved to have PE — yielding a negative predictive value of 98.5% for the approach.

“Such a diagnostic strategy seems