D-dimer levels, constitutional thrombophilia, and venous thrombosis prediction: clinical aspects and implications

M M Samama, M H Horellou, I Elalamy, V Mathieux, E Ombandza-Moussa, J Conard
Seminars in Vascular Medicine 2005, 5 (4): 371-4
The negative predictive value of D-dimers in the diagnosis of a recent venous thromboembolism (VTE) episode is well established. The plasma level of D-dimer is usually increased in hypercoagulable states. The measurement of D-dimer could be of clinical interest in patients with constitutional thrombophilia as there is no close relationship between the clinical expression and the genotype indicating the existence of a hypercoagulable state. Moreover, the predictive value of D-dimer testing in patients with thrombophilia has been questioned. The review of the literature and results of a recent study of our group are presented. Decreased levels of D-dimer are observed in patients receiving an oral anticoagulant treatment versus untreated patients. In contrast, no significant difference was observed between those with and those without thrombophilia among treated or untreated patients. Patients with constitutional thrombophilia are supposed to have an increased risk of postoperative VTE. The review of the existing literature could not confirm this opinion but this could be due to the fact that most patients receive a prophylactic treatment. Thus, there is an indirect evidence of its efficacy in these patients.

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