D-dimer tests are ordered, along with other laboratory tests and imaging scans, to help rule out the presence of a thrombus.
- Some of the conditions that the d-dimer test is used to help rule out include:
- 1: Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- 2: Pulmonary embolism (PE)
- 3: Strokes
This test may be used to determine if further testing is necessary to help diagnose diseases and conditions that cause hypercoagulability, a tendency to clot inappropriately. A D-dimer level may be used to help diagnose disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) and to monitor the effectiveness of DIC treatment.
- When is it ordered?
- D-dimer may be ordered when someone has symptoms of DVT, such as:
- 1: Leg pain or tenderness, usually in one leg
- 2: Leg swelling, edema
- 3: Discoloration of the leg
- It may be ordered when someone has symptoms of pulmonary embolism such as:
- 1: Sudden shortness of breath, labored breathing
- 2: Coughing, hemoptysis (blood present in sputum)
- 3: Lung-related chest pain
- 4: Rapid heart rate
D-dimer is especially useful when the doctor thinks that something other than DVT or PE is causing the symptoms. It is a quick, non-invasive way for the doctor to help rule out abnormal or excess clotting.