D-dimer, one of the fibrin degradation products, is formed in the degradation process following blood clot formation. After D-dimer measurement, it is revealed whether the patient has a factor that has activated the body’s blood clotting mechanism to a greater extent than normal.
What is the purpose of the test?
The D-dimer (fibrin degradation product) test helps diagnose and, if necessary, exclude diseases and conditions associated with blood clot formation.
In which cases is it recommended to perform the test?
When the patient’s disease or symptoms cause acute or chronic blood clots (pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis) and other thrombotic conditions, or to monitor and control the treatments.
It is recommended that the test be performed if the patient is at increased risk for thrombosis as well. The risk of developing thrombosis may also be increased by being overweight, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, taking birth control pills, and pregnancy.
What sample is needed for the test?
The test requires a blood sample taken from a vein and, if appropriate, a fingertip.
What can the result indicate?
With a normal result, the patient is unlikely to have an acute condition or disease that leads to abnormal clot formation or breakdown.
In case of a positive result, the level of fibrin degradation product is abnormally high, which indicates excessive clot formation or degradation in the body.
Elevated D-dimer levels may indicate disseminated intravascular coagulation (a rare, life-threatening condition that prevents normal blood clotting), trauma, infection, but may also be the result of surgery. Elevated D-dimer levels may also occur in pregnancy, heart disease, liver disease, and certain types of hormones.
What to do after the test?
The test alone cannot diagnose any diseases. Determination of D-dimer level is recommended in combination with other assays. A single test is not enough to make an accurate diagnosis. In all cases, please consult the specialist or internist who ordered the test with the result.