American Society of Hematology

ASH Clinical Practice Guidelines

ASH clinical practice guidelines are informed by a systematic review of evidence. They aim to help members and other practicing hematologists improve patient care.

ASH guideline development is overseen by the ASH Guideline Oversight Subcommittee, which reports to the ASH Committee on Quality. Through the Guideline Oversight Subcommittee, ASH selects topics, vets and appoints individuals to serve on guideline panels, and determines policies and procedures for guideline development.

The guidelines that ASH has either endorsed or partnered with can be found on the Other Guidelines page.

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)

ASH is developing new clinical practice guidelines on the management of acute and chronic complications of sickle cell disease (SCD). Topics addressed in the guidelines include pain; cerebrovascular disease; cardiopulmonary and kidney disease; stem cell transplantation; and transfusion support. Publication of the five guidelines are anticipated in 2019.back to top

Venous Thromboembolism (VTE)

ASH is collaborating with the GRADE center at McMaster University to develop clinical practice guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of venous thromboembolism (VTE).

In 2015, a coordination panel and 10 expert guideline development panels were formed. The panels are made up of more than 100 individuals, including U.S.-based and international hematologists, clinicians from other specialties, scientists with expertise in evidence synthesis and appraisal and guideline development methodology, and patient representatives.

Specific topics to be addressed in the guidelines include prevention of VTE in surgical and nonsurgical patients, diagnosis of VTE, treatment of DVT and PE, optimal management of anticoagulation therapy, thrombophilia, heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, VTE in the context of pregnancy, VTE in patients with cancer, and VTE in pediatric populations.

Publication of the following guidelines is anticipated in 2017:

  • Prevention of VTE in surgical patients
  • Prevention of VTE in nonsurgical patients
  • Diagnosis of VTE
  • Thrombophilia
  • Treatment of VTE (deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism)
  • Optimal management of anticoagulation therapy
  • Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia
  • Prevention and treatment of VTE in patients with cancer
  • VTE in the context of pregnancy
  • VTE in pediatric populations

More information is provided in a November 30, 2015, ASH-McMaster joint press release.

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Immune Thrombocytopenia

Clinical Practice Guideline on the Evaluation and Management of ITP
Published in Blood on April 21, 2011, this guideline is an evidence-based analysis of the diagnosis and management of idiopathic thrombocytopenia developed by a panel of specialists sponsored by ASH.

In 2015, ASH convened an expert panel to revise the 2011 guidelines. Publication is expected in 2017. Systematic evidence review and methodological support for these guidelines is provided by the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

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Laboratory Workup of Lymphoma

The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), the College of American Pathologists (CAP), and the American Society of Hematology (ASH) are collaborating to develop a practice guideline on the laboratory workup of patients with suspected lymphoma. An expert panel formed in 2017 includes both hematopathologists and clinical hematologists representing the three collaborating organizations. The guideline will address laboratory ordering and communications, specimen handling, and diagnostic and prognostic testing including molecular testing.back to top

Epoetin and Darbepoetin

ASH/American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2010 clinical practice guideline update on the use of epoetin and darbepoetin
Published in Blood on November 18, 2010, this guideline features the latest research and evidence-based clinical guidelines about the use of epoetin for the treatment of cancer-related anemia.back to top

Initial Workup of Acute Leukemia

On February 22, 2017 the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and the American Society of Hematology (ASH) published an evidence-based guideline that addresses the initial work-up of acute leukemia in an early online edition of the Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. "Initial Diagnostic Work-up of Acute Leukemia: Guideline from the College of American Pathologists and the American Society of Hematology” defines the recommended clinical information and laboratory testing needed for proper diagnosis, with the goal of optimal prognosis, of pediatric and adult patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), and mixed-phenotype acute leukemia (MPAL). back to top