TITLE

Rational Use of D-Dimer Measurement to Exclude Acute Venous Thromboembolic Disease

AUTHOR(S)
Frost, Shaun D.; Brotman, Daniel J.; Michota, Franklin A.
PUB. DATE
November 2003
SOURCE
Mayo Clinic Proceedings;Nov2003, Vol. 78 Issue 11, p1385
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Clinical diagnosis of venous thromboembolic (VTE) disease is often inaccurate because signs and symptoms are nonspecific. Testing for the absence of D-dimer levels in the blood of patients with suspected deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism can assist in ruling out these illnesses. Some highly sensitive D-dimer assays have sufficient specificity to assist in the exclusion of VTE disease. Numerous clinical management trials using D-dimer measurement in association with additional diagnostic tests have shown that it is safe to withhold anticoagulant therapy in selected patients with suspected VTE disease who have negative D-dimer assay results. Applying these diagnostic strategies can potentially decrease the need for radiological testing. The simplicity of measuring D-dimer levels creates the potential for misuse. For safe patient management, clinicians must understand the indications for and limitations of D-dimer measurement in the diagnosis of VTE disease.
ACCESSION #
11286400

 

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