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D-Dimer and aortic dissection


  • D-Dimer is usually elevated in acute cases of aortic dissection with 91-97% sensitivity but is poorly specific, and not sufficiently sensitive that a negative D-Dimer will exclude dissection in those with high risk features, but a negative D-Dimer may be sufficient to exclude dissection in those with low risk features
  • a positive D-Dimer is not specific enough to indicate dissection and cannot differentiate from pulmonary embolism (PE), and there are many more common conditions which will result in a positive test than dissection, so a positive test alone should NOT indicate imaging, but decision to image needs to rely upon gestalt or clinical decision tools.

False negative D-Dimers in dissection

  • D-Dimer will be negative in 3-9% of cases of acute dissection due to either 1):
    • time from onset of dissection > 48hrs (including chronic dissection)
    • short length of dissection (ie. minimal thrombosis)
    • young age
    • presence of thrombosed false lumen or a localized intramural hematoma without an intimal flap
aorticdissection_ddimer.txt · Last modified: 2017/09/04 17:43 (external edit)