Risk of blood clots in inflammatory bowel disease

Study code

Lead researcher
Dr Tim Raine

Study type
Data only

Institution or company
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Researcher type

Speciality area
Haematology, Gastroenterology


The formation of blood clots within veins (venous thromboembolism) is a potentially serious and at times life threatening complication of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). People living with IBD are known to be at increased risk of forming blood clots, particularly when the gut inflammation is active. The risk of clots is highest in patients hospitalised with their inflammatory bowel disease, and in these patients drugs to prevent clot formation are now part of routine care. Nevertheless, the largest number of clots each year occur in outpatients living with IBD (a much larger group that hospitalised inpatients). For these patients, the overall risk remains low for most and therefore the risks, benefits and costs mean that anti-clot drugs are not routinely used.

The goal of the current analysis is to see whether we can identify risk factors and markers which would help doctors identify outpatients with IBD at particularly high risk of forming clots. If we use data from the IBD BioResource and Gut Reaction to develop a tool to predict clot risk more precisely, then this can inform a personalised assessment of the risks and benefits of using anti-clot drugs and potentially reduce risk of this serious complication.

Potential patient benefit:

The aim is to help identify IBD patients at particularly high risk of venous blood clots. This risk could then be reduced through using anti-clot medication.