High D-dimer levels at presentation in patients with venous thromboembolism is a marker of adverse clinical outcomes

S Paneesha, E Cheyne, K French, S Bacchu, A Borg, P Rose
British Journal of Haematology 2006, 135 (1): 85-90
Qualitative D-dimer results, together with clinical probability scores, are well established in the diagnosis of venous thromboembolism (VTE). The predictive value of quantitative D-dimer levels for various clinical outcomes in VTE patients is not fully understood. D-dimer levels obtained at presentation were analysed in 699 (360 men; 339 women) VTE patients for survival and occurrence of malignancy. Patients were followed for a median of 23 months. 17.2% patients had a D-dimer level >8000 ng FEU/mlat presentation, which was associated with decreased overall survival (OS) (P < 0.001) and event-free survival (EFS) (P < 0.001). 25.4% patients had malignancy and 4% subsequently developed malignancy following VTE. 29.9% of patients with VTE and malignancy had a D-dimer level >8 mg/l when compared with 13.4% of patients with VTE without malignancy (P < 0.001). 50% of patients who developed subsequent malignancy following VTE had a presentation D-dimer >8000 ng FEU/mlas compared with 13.3% of patients with VTE with out malignancy (P = 0.009). In conclusion, D-dimer >8000 ng FEU/ml at presentation in patients with VTE is a marker of poor OS, EFS and underlying malignancy. Consideration of screening for malignancy is recommended in patients with VTE with a presentation D-dimer >8000 ng FEU/ml and age >60 years.

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