D-dimer and prothrombin fragment 1 + 2 predict venous thromboembolism in patients with cancer: results from the Vienna Cancer and Thrombosis Study

Cihan Ay, Rainer Vormittag, Daniela Dunkler, Ralph Simanek, Alexandru-Laurentiu Chiriac, Johannes Drach, Peter Quehenberger, Oswald Wagner, Christoph Zielinski, Ingrid Pabinger
Journal of Clinical Oncology: Official Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2009 September 1, 27 (25): 4124-9

PURPOSE: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a well-recognized complication of cancer. Laboratory parameters might be useful to assess the VTE risk in patients with cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate D-dimer and prothrombin fragment 1 + 2 (F 1 + 2), which reflect activation of blood coagulation and fibrinolysis, for prediction of cancer-associated VTE.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: In a prospective, observational, cohort study of 821 patients with newly diagnosed cancer or progression of disease who did not recently receive chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or surgery were enrolled and followed for a median of 501 days (interquartile range, 255 to 731 days). The malignancies in these patients were as follows: breast (n = 132), lung (n = 119), stomach (n = 35), lower gastrointestinal tract (n = 106), pancreas (n = 46), kidney (n = 22), and prostate (n = 101) cancers; high-grade glioma (n = 102); malignant lymphoma (n = 94); multiple myeloma (n = 17); and other tumor types (n = 47). The study end point was occurrence of objectively confirmed symptomatic or fatal VTE.

RESULTS: VTE occurred in 62 patients (7.6%). The cutoff level for elevated D-dimer and elevated F 1 + 2 was set at the 75th percentile of the total study population. In multivariable analysis that included elevated D-dimer, elevated F 1 + 2, age, sex, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, the hazard ratios (HRs) of VTE in patients with elevated D-dimer (HR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.0 to 3.2; P = .048) and elevated F 1 + 2 (HR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.2 to 3.6; P = .015) were statistically significantly increased. The cumulative probability of developing VTE after 6 months was highest in patients with both elevated D-dimer and elevated F 1 + 2 (15.2%) compared with patients with nonelevated D-dimer and nonelevated F 1 + 2 (5.0%; P < .001).

CONCLUSION: High D-dimer and F 1 + 2 levels independently predict occurrence of VTE in patients with cancer.

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