BACKGROUND: The Hestia criteria can be used to select pulmonary embolism (PE) patients for outpatient treatment. The subjective Hestia criterion "medical/social reason for admission" allows the treating physician to consider any patient-specific circumstances in the final management decision. It is unknown how often and why this criterion is scored. METHODS: This is a patient-level post hoc analysis of the combined Hestia and Vesta studies. The main outcomes were the frequency of all scored Hestia items in hospitalized patients and the explicit reason for scoring the subjective criterion. Hemodynamic parameters and computed tomography-assessed right ventricular (RV)/left ventricular (LV) ratio of those only awarded with the subjective criterion were compared with patients treated at home. RESULTS: From the 1,166 patients screened, data were available for all 600 who were hospitalized. Most were hospitalized to receive oxygen therapy (45%); 227 (38%) were only awarded with the subjective criterion, of whom 51 because of "intermediate to intermediate-high risk PE." Compared with patients with intermediate risk PE (RV/LV ratio > 1.0) treated at home (179/566, 32%), hospitalized patients with only the subjective criterion had a higher mean RV/LV ratio (mean difference +0.30, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.19-0.41) and a higher heart rate (+18/min, 95% CI 10-25). No relevant differences were observed for other hemodynamic parameters. CONCLUSION: The most frequent reason for hospital admission was oxygen therapy. In the decision to award the subjective criterion as sole argument for admission, the severity of the RV overload and resulting hemodynamic response of the patient was taken into account rather than just abnormal RV/LV ratio.