Akl Plays Key Role in Guidelines for Preventing, Treating Blood Clots

Elie A. Akl, MD, MPH, PhD.

Elie A. Akl, MD, MPH, PhD

Published February 28, 2012

Elie A. Akl, MD, MPH, PhD, has helped develop new national guidelines for the prevention and treatment of blood clots.


An associate professor of medicine, family medicine and social and preventive medicine, Akl served on the five-member executive committee that developed the guidelines on deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, which the American College of Chest Physicians published in February.

He also contributed to 10 of the 24 peer-reviewed papers reporting on the guidelines and edited two prominent papers, one on treating clots and one on treating strokes.

Guidelines Strengthen Focus on Risk Stratification

The guidelines include more than 600 recommendations for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of thrombosis, addressing a comprehensive list of clinical conditions.

They incorporate a stronger focus on risk stratification, suggesting that clinicians consider a patient’s risk for a blood clot before administering or prescribing a prevention therapy.

“These guidelines will set the standards for the field of guideline development,” says Akl, an expert in guideline methodology and evidence-based medicine.

“The key advances are the use of a systematic, explicit and transparent methodology for grading the evidence and developing recommendations.

“Other improvements include the explicit and quantitative consideration of patient values and preferences, the restriction of outcomes to only those deemed to be important for patients, and the use of a novel policy for the management of conflicts of interest.”