Plasma D-dimer determination is used for laboratory confirmation (or exclusion) of acute pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis and for the diagnosis of disseminated intravascular coagulation.
During hemostasis, thrombin stimulates fibrin formation by fibrinogen. This fibrin, by the addition of the fibrin stabilizer, forms a fixed fibrin clot in the area of injury. When the fibrin clot is no longer needed, it is dissolved by fibrinolytic agents such as plasmin, resulting in the production of certain fibrin degradation products. D-dimers are one of the measurable by-products of the fibrinolytic system.
Measurement of the D-dimer assesses activation of the fibrinolytic system and intravascular thrombosis. It is a very useful diagnostic tool to rule out acute venous thromboembolic diseases, such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism. The measurement of D-dimer, along with other tests, can be used to diagnose disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC).
Possible Interpretations of Pathological Values
Increase: Arterial thrombosis, disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), eclampsia, fibrinolysis, heart disease, infections, advanced pregnancy, liver disease, malignancies, postoperative period, pulmonary embolism, trauma. D-dimer levels increase with increasing levels of CA 125 in ovarian cancer, in increased rheumatoid factor (RF), after electrical therapies, and with letrozole treatment in advanced breast cancer. Medications: Thrombolytic agents.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.