Exclusion of venous thromboembolism: evaluation of D-Dimer PLUS for the quantitative determination of D-dimer

H J Vermeer, P Ypma, M J L van Strijen, A A Muradin, F Hudig, R W Jansen, P W Wijermans, W B J Gerrits
Thrombosis Research 2005, 115 (5): 381-6
The objective of this study was to evaluate if D-Dimer PLUS (Dade Behring, USA), a rapid fully automated assay, could be used as an initial screening test in the diagnosis of venous thromboembolism (VTE). Samples from 274 consecutive symptomatic patients with suspected pulmonary embolism (n=229; 79% outpatients, 21% inpatients), deep venous thrombosis (n=37; 84% outpatients, 16% inpatients) or suspected for both complications (n=8) were tested with this D-dimer assay with a Sysmex CA-1500 Coagulation Analyzer. Clinical probability for pulmonary embolism (PE) or deep venous thrombosis (DVT) was staged according to a pretest risk score proposed by Wells. Final diagnosis of PE and/or DVT was established by spiral-computed tomography of the pulmonary arteries or compression ultrasonography, respectively. PE was diagnosed in 13.5% of the patients, whereas DVT was confirmed in 17.7% of the patients. The optimal cut-off value for exclusion of venous thromboembolism was 130 mug/l, and sensitivity, specificity and negative predictive value (NPV) were 95.0% (95% CI: 92.4-97.6), 30.4% (95% CI: 25.0-35.8) and 97.2% (95% CI: 95.2-99.2), respectively. In fact, two patient with PE were missed using D-Dimer PLUS; both cases were outpatients. In conclusion, this assay appears to be safe when implemented in an algorithm based on clinical assessment, D-dimer concentration, and radiological diagnostic techniques to stratify the risk for PE or DVT. However, higher sensitivities and negative predictive values were claimed in the scarce published reports for the D-Dimer PLUS assay than found in this study.

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