Frequently Asked Questions
What is D-dimer?
D-dimer is a breakdown product of fibrin, a protein that is produced when a blood clot is formed or dissolves in your body. Blood clots form whenever a blood vessel is damaged or when blood flow is restricted, such as by a vessel being compressed for a long time. The presence of D-dimer in the blood can therefore be an indicator of clotting status and more serious clotting disorders, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
A person’s physiological state can also affect D-dimer levels. These include: pregnancy, cigarette smoking, trauma, infection and sepsis. Also the elderly, those who are immobilised, individuals with autoimmune disorders, or those who have had recent surgery may have an elevated D-dimer in the blood.
Why should I test?
The D-dimer test can be used to detect the presence of the clotting factor in the blood as an indicator of overall clotting status.
D-dimer is normally undetectable in the blood but it is produced when the body is trying to break down a blood clot.
What are the symptoms?
Some of the more serious symptoms of abnormal clot formation include but are not limited to:
- Leg swelling
- Leg pain or tenderness
- Chest pain and trouble breathing
- Severe abdominal pain
- Abnormal bleeding
What does a positive test mean?
A positive test means D-dimer has been detected in the blood. Follow up investigations and testing would be needed to confirm if levels were raised beyond normal limits.
What does a negative test mean?
A negative test means no D-dimer has not been detected in the blood at the time of testing.
How accurate is the test?
The test has a Sensitivity= 93.00% and a Specificity= 97.50%