Geneva score

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The Geneva score is a clinical prediction rule used in determining the pre-test probability of pulmonary embolism (PE) based on a patient's risk factors and clinical findings.[1] It has been shown to be as accurate as the Wells Score, and is less reliant on the experience of the doctor applying the rule.[2] The Geneva score has been revised and simplified from its original version. The simplified Geneva score is the newest version and predicted to have the same diagnostic utility as the original Geneva score.[3]

Original Geneva Score[edit]

The original Geneva score is calculated using 7 risk factors and clinical variables:

Variable Score
60–79 years 1
80+ years 2
Previous venous thromboembolism
Previous DVT or PE 2
Previous surgery
Recent surgery within 4 weeks 3
Heart rate
Heart rate >100 beats per minute 1
PaCO2 (partial pressure of CO2 in arterial blood)
<35mmHg 2
35-39mmHg 1
PaO2 (partial pressure of O2 in arterial blood)
<49mmHg 4
49-59mmHg 3
60-71mmHg 2
72-82mmHg 1
Chest X-ray findings
Band atelectasis 1
Elevation of hemidiaphragm 1

The score obtained relates to the probability of the patient having had a pulmonary embolism (the lower the score, the lower the probability):

  • <5 points indicates a low probability of PE
  • 5 - 8 points indicates a moderate probability of PE
  • >8 points indicates a high probability of PE

Revised Geneva Score[edit]

More recently, the revised Geneva score has been introduced.[4] This simplifies the scoring process, and has also been shown to be as effective as the Wells score.[5]

The revised score uses 8 parameters, but does not include figures which require an arterial blood gas sample to be performed:

Variable Score
Age 65 years or over 1
Previous DVT or PE 3
Surgery or fracture within 1 month 2
Active malignant condition 2
Unilateral lower limb pain 3
Hemoptysis 2
Heart rate 75 to 94 beats per minute 3
Heart rate 95 or more beats per minute 5
Pain on deep palpation of lower limb and unilateral edema 4

The score obtained relates to probability of PE:

  • 0 - 3 points indicates low probability (8%)
  • 4 - 10 points indicates intermediate probability (29%)
  • 11 points or more indicates high probability (74%)

The probabilities derived from the scoring systems can be used to determine the need for, and nature of, further investigations such as D-dimer, ventilation/perfusion scanning and CT pulmonary angiography to confirm or refute the diagnosis of PE.

Simplified Geneva Score[edit]

A newer revision referred to as the simplified revised Geneva score has been prospectively studied and reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine on October 27 of 2008. The simplified scoring system replaced the weighted scores for each parameter with a 1-point score for each parameter present to reduce the likelihood of error when the score is used in a clinical setting. The report noted that the simplified Geneva score does not lead to a decrease in diagnostic utility in evaluating patients for a PE when compared to previous Geneva scores.[3]

The simplified Geneva score:

Variable Score
Age >65 1
Previous DVT or PE 1
Surgery or fracture within 1 month 1
Active malignancy 1
Unilateral lower limb pain 1
Hemoptysis 1
Pain on deep vein palpation of lower limb and unilateral edema 1
Heart rate 75 to 94 bpm 1
Heart rate greater than 94 bpm 2

Patients with a score of 2 or less are considered unlikely to have a current PE. Authors suggest that the likelihood of patients having a PE with a simplified Geneva score less than 2 and a normal D-Dimer is 3 percent.[6]


  1. ^ Wicki J, Perneger TV, Junod AF, Bounameaux H, Perrier A (January 2001). "Assessing clinical probability of pulmonary embolism in the emergency ward: a simple score". Archives of Internal Medicine. 161 (1): 92–7. doi:10.1001/archinte.161.1.92. PMC 1495732Freely accessible. PMID 11146703. 
  2. ^ Iles S, Hodges AM, Darley JR, et al. (March 2003). "Clinical experience and pre-test probability scores in the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism". QJM. 96 (3): 211–5. doi:10.1093/qjmed/hcg027. PMID 12615985. 
  3. ^ a b Klok FA, Mos IC, Nijkeuter M, et al. (October 2008). "Simplification of the revised Geneva score for assessing clinical probability of pulmonary embolism" (PDF). Archives of Internal Medicine. 168 (19): 2131–6. doi:10.1001/archinte.168.19.2131. PMID 18955643. 
  4. ^ Le Gal G, Righini M, Roy PM, et al. (February 2006). "Prediction of pulmonary embolism in the emergency department: the revised Geneva score". Annals of Internal Medicine. 144 (3): 165–71. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-144-3-200602070-00004. PMID 16461960. 
  5. ^ Righini M, Le Gal G, Aujesky D, et al. (April 2008). "Diagnosis of pulmonary embolism by multidetector CT alone or combined with venous ultrasonography of the leg: a randomised non-inferiority trial". Lancet. 371 (9621): 1343–52. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(08)60594-2. PMID 18424324. 
  6. ^ "Geneva Scoring for Pulmonary Embolism Simplified Further. Physician's First Watch October 29, 2008". Retrieved 1/25/2009. Login to free text may be required.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)