What is D-dimer?

Updated: Nov 18, 2019
  • Author: Reka G Szigeti, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Eric B Staros, MD  more...
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D-dimer is the degradation product of crosslinked (by factor XIII) fibrin. It reflects ongoing activation of the hemostatic system. The reference concentration of D-dimer is < 250 ng/mL, or < 0.4 mcg/mL. [1]

The reference range/cutoff value for D-dimer is ideally established by the performing laboratory, or, if a cutoff value published in the literature is used, the value has to be determined with the same methodology, preferably from the same manufacturer.

Point-of-care testing is available to determine the D-dimer amount semiquantitatively (latex agglutination–based). This test has high interobserver variability, making it less clinically valuable.

A quantitative, automated point-of-care D-dimer test has been developed, providing an excellent, cost-effective, and rapid tool, especially in the setting of ruling out pulmonary embolism among patients with a low probability of the condition.

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