Diagnostic value of D-dimer in outpatients with suspected deep venous thrombosis receiving oral anticoagulation

Carlos Aguilar, Valentín Del Villar
Blood Coagulation & Fibrinolysis: An International Journal in Haemostasis and Thrombosis 2007, 18 (3): 253-7
D-dimer has proved a useful diagnostic tool for the exclusion of deep venous thrombosis (DVT). The objective of this paper was to evaluate the diagnostic performance of a diagnostic algorithm combining clinical probability and D-dimer in outpatients receiving oral anticoagulant treatment (OAT) similar to those regularly applied to nonanticoagulated individuals. We enrolled 70 outpatients on OAT who presented with clinically suspected DVT; a standard diagnostic algorithm including clinical evaluation using the modified Wells score and a quantitative immunoturbidimetric D-dimer assay (STA Liatest D-Di; Diagnostica Stago, Asniéres sur Seine, France) was used. A 3-month follow-up period was applied for those patients in whom DVT was initially excluded. The prevalence of DVT was 18.5% (13/70); four of the diagnoses were made during the 3-month follow-up period. The sensitivity, specificity and negative predictive value of D-dimer were 69.2% (95 confidence interval, 42.4-87.3), 47.4% (95% confidence interval, 35.0-60.1) and 87.1% (95% confidence interval, 71.1-94.9), respectively. In conclusion, D-dimer is of limited value in outpatients on OAT presenting with clinically suspected DVT and should be omitted in such individuals; these patients should always undergo compression venous ultrasound, and repeat ultrasonography within 1 week might be warranted in cases with an initial negative examination.

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