D Dimer Test. Purpose and test results
D dimer test is used to detect blood clots in patients. In this article, we’ll explain what a d-dimer test is, how it works, and more.
Table of Contents
The d dimer test measures blood levels of a protein fragment called D dimer that occurs when platelets stick to each other in the blood. This test is used to diagnose deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE).
What is D dimer test?
A D dimer test is a blood test that measures a substance called D dimer protein. evaluating the level of that protein can help rule out the presence of a serious blood clot.
D-dimer is dimer is a protein fragment or breakdown product of fibrin that has been cross linked (by factor XIII). It reflects ongoing hemostatic system activation.
When you get a positive result, it means that the D-dimer level in your body is elevated, and there is a possibility that you have acute thrombosis and that anticoagulation therapy may be required.
This test also assists doctors in excluding pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal if not treated promptly.
Blood clots can cause health problems, such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), so it is important to get checked by a healthcare provider if you think you may have one.
|Other names||Fragment D-dimer, fibrin degradation fragment|
|purpose||Aiding in the diagnosis of thrombotic (blood clotting) diseases and conditions.|
|Reference Range||250 ng/ml or 0.4 /mL|
What is the purpose of a D dimer test?
Plasma D dimer tests are used to check for, or monitor, blood-clotting problems. A positive D dimer testing means the D-dimer level in the body is elevated.
If you have symptoms of a blood clotting disorder, such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE), you may need this test .
DVT symptoms include:
- Tenderness or pain in the legs
- Swelling of the legs
- Legs with redness or red streaks
PE symptoms include:
- Breathing difficulties
- A fast heartbeat
- Chest ache
What are the preparations for D dimer test?
There are no special preparations needed for a D dimer test; however, patients should not eat anything after midnight the night before the test. Patients should also avoid caffeine and alcohol during the day of the test.
“Related: C. diff Testing. Preparations and Results“
What happens during a D dimer test?
D dimer test is a simple blood test, in which a small needle will be used by a health care professional to draw blood from a vein in your arm. Following the insertion of the needle, a small amount of blood will be collected in a test tube or vial. When the needle goes in or out, you may feel a slight sting. This usually takes under five minutes.
D-dimer Test Results
If your blood D-dimer levels are low or normal, you don’t have a clotting disorder.
positive test means the d dimer levels are higher than expected, and you may have a clotting disorder. However, it cannot reveal the location of the clot or the type of clotting disorder you have. Furthermore, high D-dimer levels are not always due to clotting issues.
If your D-dimer results were abnormal, your doctor will most likely order additional tests to determine a diagnosis.
If you have any concerns about your results, consult your doctor.
Causes of high D-Dimer level
D-dimer levels can be raised by a variety of diseases, treatments, and lifestyle factors, such as:
- Patients with unstable angina or heart attack.
- Certain cancers can increase the likelihood of a blood clot.
- Chemotherapy and certain breast cancer medications can increase the risk of blood clots.
- Birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy can both increase the risk of DVT and PE.
- Patients who have had major surgery, such as a hip or knee replacement, are at a higher risk of developing a blood clot. (Medications are used to prevent this.)
- COVID-19 and pneumonia are infectious diseases that can cause inflammation and blood clots.
- For unknown reasons, kidney disease raises the risk of DVT and PE.
- Cirrhosis of the liver and People with severe liver disease are more likely to develop clots in the large vein of the liver.
- During pregnancy, D-dimer levels double to fourfold. Women are at an increased risk of DVT or PE for up to three months after giving birth.
- Doppler Ultrasound.
- Platelet Tests.
- Protein C Test.
- Protein S Test.
- Prothrombin Time Test and INR (PT/INR).
- V/Q Scan.
This test is frequently performed in an emergency room or other medical setting. If you have DVT symptoms and are not in a medical setting, contact your doctor. If you are experiencing PE symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.