General practitioners (GPs) can safely exclude pulmonary embolism using the Wells rule for pulmonary embolism in combination with either a qualitative point-of-care (POC) D-dimer test or a quantitative D-dimer test. The findings were published online April 6 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

Wim Lucassen, M.D., Ph.D., from the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, and colleagues evaluated data from a prospective cohort of 598 adults suspected of pulmonary embolism in primary care. GPs scored the Wells rule and carried out a qualitative POC test. All patients were referred to hospital for reference testing. Quantitative D-dimer tests were performed in hospital laboratories. The prevalence of venous thromboembolism in low-risk patients was the primary outcome.