D-dimer in acute aortic dissection

Thomas Weber, Sonja Högler, Johann Auer, Robert Berent, Elisabeth Lassnig, Erich Kvas, Bernd Eber
Chest 2003, 123 (5): 1375-8

STUDY OBJECTIVE: Laboratory testing plays a minor role in the assessment of aortic dissection. Its main value is in the exclusion of other diseases. Following an incidental observation, we systematically investigated the relationship between elevated d-dimer levels and acute aortic dissection.

DESIGN: We prospectively tested d-dimer levels in patients with suspected acute aortic dissection (10 patients). In addition, we investigated 14 patients who had received a confirmed diagnosis of thoracic aortic dissection during the previous 5 years, in whom d-dimer testing had been performed for differential diagnosis. Thirty-five patients with acute chest pain of other origin served as a control group.

SETTING: Tertiary referral hospital.

PATIENTS: Twelve patients had type A dissection (Stanford classification), and 12 patients had type B.

MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: A d-dimer analysis was performed (Tina-quant assay; Roche Diagnostics; Mannheim, Germany) [normal limit of the assay, 0.5 micro g/mL]. The result of the d-dimer test was positive (ie, > 0.5 micro g/mL) in all patients (sensitivity of the test, 100%) with a mean value of 9.4 micro g/mL and a range of 0.63 to 54.7 micro g/mL. The degree of the elevation was correlated to the delay from the onset of symptoms to laboratory testing (mean, 12.6 h; range, 1 to 120 h) and showed a trend to the extent of the dissection, but not to the outcome (14 patients could be discharged; 10 patients died).

CONCLUSIONS: Based on our observation, we suggest that testing for d-dimer should be part of the initial assessment of patients with chest pain, especially if aortic dissection is suspected. A negative test result makes the presence of the disease unlikely.


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"