What is a D-dimer test?
D-dimer are the protein fragments that are produced when blood clots get dissolved in the body. They are normally either undetectable or detectable at a low level unless the body forms or breaks down the blood clots, post that the level in the blood would significantly rise. The D-dimer test helps to rule out the presence of thrombus i.e. inappropriate blood clots in the body. A D-dimer test helps to rule out the occurrence of conditions such as deep vein thrombosis (DVP), pulmonary embolism (PE), and stroke. The D-dimer test also helps to determine if further testing is required for the diagnosis of other medical conditions such as hypercoagulability.
Some of the common risk factors for inappropriate blood clotting are the use of hormone replacement therapy, cancer, smoking, obesity, surgery, prolonged immobility, a broken bone, pregnancy, and inherited clotting disorder such as V Leiden mutation.
D-dimer test purpose is to look out for a substance called D-dimer in the blood. Some of the D-dimer test uses are as follows:
D-dimer Test for Blood Clots
A D-dimer test for blood clots is routinely used in the first-line assessment of patients suspected of suffering venous thromboembolism (VTE), which can present as either deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE). Some of the symptoms that a blood clot leads to are leg redness, leg pain, and leg swelling. In addition, breathing trouble, coughing, chest pain, fainting, sweating and rapid heartbeat are some of the symptoms for which the D-dimer test is used by the healthcare professionals.
D-dimer Test for COVID-19
COVID-19 patients are at a greater risk of developing venous blood clots, renal failure, and other complications that are associated with blood clots. The effect of anticoagulation on D-dimer levels is unknown in the COVID-19 situation; thus, D-dimer test for corona results in very low D-dimer levels among the patients receiving anticoagulation. However, the D-dimer test for COVID allows the healthcare professionals to treat the COVID-19 patients more effectively to prevent complications such as stroke or any other.
If the D-dimer levels are negative then you do not have a problem of blood clot i.e. DVT or PE. And if the D-dimer range is high then more tests need to be done to confirm the diagnosis of DVT or PE.
1. Normal Range – A negative or D-dimer test normal range result depicts that the patient does not have an acute condition or a disease that forms abnormal clot and breakdown. The majority of the healthcare professionals believe that a negative D-dimer test normal value is valid for the people who are at a low to moderate risk for thrombosis.
2. High Range – A positive or a D-dimer high test level result indicates abnormally elevated D-dimer level of fibrin degradation products. It also indicates that there is a significant amount of blood clot i.e. thrombus in the body. However, the location of the blood clot or the cause needs to be further evaluated.
The D-dimer test cost in India varies from city to city, an average D-dimer test cost is around INR 1,000/-. Owing to the current pandemic situation and also considering the comfort of patients many laboratories are offering the D-Dimer blood test at the comfort of home. The lab professionals would collect the sample from home and get the results delivered through the mail, message, or hard copy within 24 hours from sample collection.