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Changing trends in venous thromboembolism-related imaging in Western Australian teaching hospitals, 2002–2010

William B G Macdonald and Tatiana Segard
Med J Aust 2014; 200 (1): 27. || doi: 10.5694/mja13.11245
Published online: 20 January 2014

In reply: We thank Mountain for his comments. As he points out, it is only possible to infer cause and effect from observational data. The fact that referrals for D-dimer levels and computed tomography pulmonary angiography increased during the same period does not prove that one “drove” the other, although we believe this is a reasonable inference. Importantly, D-dimer testing was introduced as a “rule-out” test in low-risk patients, in an effort to reduce unnecessary referrals for venous thromboembolism imaging; but we found no evidence in our observational data that this had occurred.

  • William B G Macdonald1
  • Tatiana Segard2

  • 1 Imaging West, Department of Health, Western Australia, Perth, WA.
  • 2 Nuclear Medicine, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth, WA.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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