What is the D Dimer Test?

A D-dimer test checks for a small fragment of a protein, called D-dimer, that your body can make when you have an injury. Your body coagulation mechanism will dissolve the clot once your injury has healed in normal conditions. However, if you have a blood clotting disorder and there’s more than one clot being formed or trouble dissolving at once, in that case, the clots could block off other areas of your body’s circulatory system and cause serious symptoms. It can lead to internal bleeding and even death, so knowledge of d-dimer levels is important in detecting dangerous blood clotting disorders.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the D Dimer Test used for?

A D-dimer test is a medical procedure that checks your blood for the protein fragment called D-dimer. Your healthcare provider can order the test to diagnose various life-threatening blood clotting disorders, including –

  •   Stroke
  •   Deep vein thrombosis
  •   Disseminated intravascular coagulation
  •   Pulmonary embolism
  • Snakebites cause blood coagulation due to venom released

Understanding the test results of D Dimer Test

If your results show a low or normal D-dimer level, you are most likely not suffering from a clotting disorder. If the test results are higher than expected, it may be due to a clotting disorder, but you cannot tell where the clot is located or what form of clotting problem you have. Additionally, high D-dimer levels are not necessarily caused by blood clots; other conditions that can lead to this outcome include pregnancy, heart disease, and recent surgery. If your test comes positive and remains so after subsequent tests to eliminate all other condition possibilities, your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose the cause of excessive D-dimer levels properly.

Why do I need the D Dimer Test?

A D-dimer test is a medical procedure that checks your blood for the protein fragment called D-dimer. The test is done if you have an increased risk of a blood clotting disorder or have recently been admitted to an emergency room for any reason. The common symptoms associated are swelling, redness or pain in the legs, chest pain, fast heartbeat, profuse sweating, and difficulty breathing.

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What happens during the D Dimer Test?

D-dimer test is a simple blood test to see if you have a blood clot in your body or not. Most of the time, you don't even feel anything when a blood sample is taken from your arm or hand because it feels like a sting. You normally don't have any discomfort sometimes, although you can experience some side effects such as soreness and pain afterward.

What is the D-dimer normal range?

D-dimer (crosslinked fibrin) test values are normally expected at or below the reference concentration of < 250ng/ml.

D-dimer levels < 250 ng/ml correlate with a low probability of acute pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis, and it is uncertain how changes in these levels correlate with disease processes. 

A normal D-dimer result of 0 < or = 500 ng/ml fibrinogen equivalent units (FEU) is 95% predictive that upper extremity deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is not present.

What is the D-dimer test in covid?

When a patient has severe forms of Covid-19, the D-dimer test correctly identifies the presence of blood clots throughout the body, including the lungs. The patient may have shortness of breath and breathing complications. If the test results indicate a greater D-dimer level in the body or an excess of clotting, it means the body has a lot of blood clots, and more oxygen will be required as D-dimer levels rise.

How should I prepare for the test?

There are no extreme guidelines or preparations that must be taken before the D-Dimer blood test. Also, it is not required for the patients to fast before the test has been undertaken. However, you should always consult with your doctor if you are on any medication related to clotting of the blood as this can affect test results.

What does a high D-dimer mean?

If the test findings are greater than expected, you may have a clotting disease, but you can't be sure where the clot is or what type of clotting problem you have until you see a doctor. Furthermore, high D-dimer levels are not always caused by blood clots; pregnancy, cardiac illness, or recent surgery are all examples of circumstances resulting in this.

Can pneumonia elevate D-dimer?

Pneumonia is a lung infection affecting air sacs in one or more lungs. In individuals with acute and chronic lung damage because of pneumonia, levels of D-dimer may elevate because of extra and intravascular coagulation. The high levels of D-dimer contribute to severe lung inflammation in pneumonia. The levels increase even in the absence of any other potential accompanying disease.

Are there any risks to the test?

D-dimer test is a normal blood drawing procedure. Blood testing is essential to formulate a diagnosis and proceed with a treatment plan. The procedure is done by experienced professionals with clinical expertise and has minimal or no risks except bruising, swelling, or pain at the injection site. You may experience lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting during the test.

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