Background: Venous thromboembolism is a common cause of mortality among hospitalized patients and yet it is preventable through detecting the precipitating factors and a prompt diagnosis by specialists. The present study has been carried out in order to assist specialists in the diagnosis and prediction of the risk level of pulmonary embolism in patients, by means of artificial neural network. Method: A number of 31 risk factors have been used in this study in order to evaluate the conditions of 294 patients hospitalized in 3 educational hospitals affiliated with Kerman University of Medical Sciences. Two types of artificial neural networks, namely Feed-Forward Back Propagation and Elman Back Propagation, were compared in this study. Results: Through an optimized artificial neural network model, an accuracy and risk level index of 93.23 percent was achieved and, subsequently, the results have been compared with those obtained from the perfusion scan of the patients. 86.61 percent of high risk patients diagnosed through perfusion scan diagnostic method were also diagnosed correctly through the method proposed in the present study. Conclusions: The results of this study can be a good resource for physicians, medical assistants, and healthcare staff to diagnose high risk patients more precisely and prevent the mortalities. Additionally, expenses and other unnecessary diagnostic methods such as perfusion scans can be efficiently reduced.
Key words: Venous thromboembolism, Pulmonary Embolism, Deep Vein Thrombosis, Risk Factors, Artificial Neural Network