Caprini Score for DVT Risk

Stratifies risk for venous thromboembolism and deep vein thrombosis after surgery, based on several factors.

Refer to the text below the calculator for more information on the score and its usage.

The Caprini risk score is a risk assessment tool for the occurrence of venous thromboembolism among surgical patients and is based on the Venous Thromboembolism Risk Factor Assessment.

Venous thromboembolism (VTE), including deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), is a common cause of peri-operative morbidity.

Several risk factors are evaluated in the risk assessment and the final score provides guidance on risk/probability of a VTE episode.

Caprini Score Interpretation:

Score Risk Level Risk percent (Pannucci 2017)
0 Lowest Minimal
1–2 Low Minimal
3–4 Moderate 0.70%
5–6 High 1.80%
7–8 High 4.00%
≥9 Highest 10.70%






Type of surgery


Recent events (<1 month)


Venous disease or clotting disorder




Other present and past history

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The Caprini Risk Assessment Explained

The Caprini Score is based on the Venous Thromboembolism Risk Factor Assessment that predicts risk and probability of VTE, defined as deep vein thrombosis DVT or pulmonary embolism. The significance and usage of the score is the more important as the risk of VTE can be of up to 30% in some surgical patients.

The original score is derived from a prospective study of 538 general surgery patients (admitted for general, urologic, gynecologic, orthopedic surgery and head and neck procedures).

and there are several risk factors taken in consideration, weighted (for the degree of risk posed) with scores from 0 to 5. The score is calculated by summing the point values. The higher the total score, the greater the risk of VTE.

Pannucci et al. offer a detailed interpretation of the scores, the VTE risk, whilst Bahl et al. have identified recommended prophylaxis measures for each risk group.

Pannucci’s 2017 study was a meta-analysis including 14,776 patients and found that VTE risk varied from 0.7% to 10.7% among surgical patients (with or without) chemoprophylaxis.

Caprini Score Risk Risk percent (Pannucci 2017) Recommended prophylaxis (Bahl 2010) Duration of chemoprophylaxis
0 Lowest Minimal Early frequent ambulation only, OR at discretion of surgical team: Pneumatic compression devices OR graduated compression stockings During hospitalization
1–2 Low Minimal Pneumatic compression devices ± graduated compression stockings During hospitalization
3–4 Moderate 0.70% Pneumatic compression devices ± graduated compression stockings During hospitalization
5–6 High 1.80% Pneumatic compression devices AND low dose heparin OR low molecular weight heparin 7–10 days total
7–8 High 4.00% Pneumatic compression devices AND low dose heparin OR low molecular weight heparin 7–10 days total
≥9 Highest 10.70% Pneumatic compression devices AND low dose heparin OR low molecular weight heparin 30 days total

The score has been validated in several subsets of surgical specialities, such as general, vascular, neurological, ICU or plastic and is the the risk assessment model recommended by the 2012 Chest guidelines for VTE prevention.



Original reference

Caprini JA, Arcelus JI, Hasty JH, Tamhane AC, Fabrega F. Clinical assessment of venous thromboembolic risk in surgical patients. Semin Thromb Hemost. 1991;17 Suppl 3:304-12.

Caprini JA. Thrombosis risk assessment as a guide to quality patient care. Dis Mon. 2005;51(2-3):70-8.

Other references

Caprini JA. Risk assessment as a guide for the prevention of the many faces of venous thromboembolism. The American Journal of Surgery; 2010;(199)1 S3-S10.

Goldhaber SZ, Bounameaux H. Pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis. Lancet. 2012; 379(9828):1835-46.

Pannucci CJ, Swistun L, Macdonald JK, Henke PK, Brooke BS. Individualized Venous Thromboembolism Risk Stratification Using the 2005 Caprini Score to Identify the Benefits and Harms of Chemoprophylaxis in Surgical Patients: A Meta-analysis. Ann Surg. 2017.

Bahl V, Hu HM, Henke PK, Wakefield TW, Campbell DA, Caprini JA. A validation study of a retrospective venous thromboembolism risk scoring method. Ann Surg. 2010;251(2):344-50.

.Gould MK, Garcia DA, Wren SM, Karanicolas PJ, Arcelus JI, Heit JA, Samama CM. Prevention of VTE in nonorthopedic surgical patients: Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines. Chest. 2012;141(2 Suppl):e227S-e277S.

Specialty: Vascular Surgery

System: Cardiovascular

Objective: Risk Screening

Type: Score

No. Of Items: 5

Year Of Study: 2005

Article By: Denise Nedea

Published On: May 8, 2020

Last Checked: May 8, 2020

Next Review: May 8, 2025