A highly sensitive ELISA D-dimer increases testing but not diagnosis of pulmonary embolism

Christopher Kabrhel, Christina Matts, Mariah McNamara, Jeremy Katz, Thomas Ptak
Academic Emergency Medicine 2006, 13 (5): 519-24

OBJECTIVES: To determine the effect of introducing a rapid enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) D-dimer on the percentage of emergency department (ED) patients evaluated for pulmonary embolism (PE), the use of associated laboratory testing, pulmonary vascular imaging, and the diagnoses of PE.

METHODS: Patients evaluated for PE during three 120-day periods were enrolled: immediately before (period 1), immediately after (period 2), and one year after the introduction of a rapid ELISA D-dimer in the hospital. The frequency of ED patients evaluated for PE with any test, with D-dimer testing, and with pulmonary vascular imaging and the frequency of PE diagnosis during each time period were determined.

RESULTS: The percentage of patients evaluated for PE nearly doubled; from 1.36% (328/24,101) in period 1 to 2.58% (654/25,318) in period 2 and 2.42% (583/24,093) in period 3. The percentage of patients who underwent D-dimer testing increased more than fourfold; from 0.39% (93/24,101) in period 1 to 1.83% (464/25,318) in period 2 and 1.77% (427/24,093) in period 3. The percentage of patients who underwent pulmonary vascular imaging increased from 1.02% (247/24,101) in period 1 to 1.36% (344/25,318) in period 2 and to 1.39% (334/24,093) in period 3. There was no difference in the percentage of patients diagnosed as having PE in period 1 (0.20% [47/24,101]), period 2 (0.27% [69/25,318]), and period 3 (0.24% [58/24,093]).

CONCLUSIONS: In the study's academic ED, introduction of ELISA D-dimer testing was accompanied by an increase in PE evaluations, D-dimer testing, and pulmonary vascular imaging; there was no observed change in the rate of PE diagnosis.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


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

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


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"