D-Dimer Test Information – What are Uses, Risk, & Results

D-dimer test, d-dimer blood test

A D-dimer test is performed to rule out the presence of a severe blood clot in your body.
Sometimes, when you meet any minor accident like a cut in your hand, your body system takes many steps to make your blood clump up on the accident site.

It is the only way of healing the damaged portion of your body. If your body does not make clump, you will keep bleeding, and you may face some serious health issues.

Once the bleeding stops, you don’t need the clot anymore. So your body takes a series of steps in the other direction and breaks the clot down.

What Are the Uses of the D-Dimer Test?

A D-dimer blood test is used to determine if you have a blood clotting disorder. These disorders include:

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) 

It is a blood clot that occurs inside the deep vein. These clots generally affect the lower legs, but blood clots can happen in other areas of body parts.

Pulmonary embolism (PE)

It is a condition in which blockage occurs in one or more lungs that travel one part to other body parts. It typically happens when a blood clot in another part of the body breaks loose and travels to the lungs. DVT clots are the leading cause of PE.

Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)

It is a severe condition that causes too many blood clots due to protein disorder. The clots can form different body parts and cause organ damage. Sometimes, DIC may be caused by traumatic injuries, certain infections, or cancer.

Stroke 

It is the condition of blockage in the blood supply to the brain. It is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.

Why do You need a D-dimer test?

D-dimer tests are performed to find out the presence of clots in your body. Your healthcare practitioner may order this test if you have symptoms of blood clotting, DVT, PE, and stroke.

D-dimer blood test

Symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis include:

  • Pain in your leg or tenderness
  • Swelling in the affected leg area
  • Redness or discoloration of the skin.
  • Warm feeling around the affected part.

Symptoms of Pulmonary Embolism include:

  • Shortness of breathing
  • Coughing contains blood
  • Chest ache while breathing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Excess Sweating
  • Leg pain and swelling

D- dimer blood test is generally performed in an emergency room or other health care hospitals and laboratories. 

What happens during a D-dimer Blood test?

A medical professional will take the blood sample from the vein present in your arm with the help of a small needle,

He will insert the needle in your vein and take out the small amount of blood in a test tube and send the lab to check the d-dimer levels in your blood. You may feel a slight hurt when the needle is inserted inside the vein. 

What does the D- Dimer Test results mean?

If the results present low or normal D-dimer blood test levels in the blood, that indicates you are probably safe and you do not have a clotting disorder in your body parts.

If the results present a higher D-dimer test value than normal levels of D-dimer, it indicates that you are suffering from a clotting disorder. But the test cannot find the body part where the clot is present or what kind of clotting disorder you are having.

Moreover, high D-dimer test levels are not always occurred by clotting disorder. There may be chances of other conditions that can indicate high D-dimer levels include pregnancy, cardiac disease, and recent surgery.

D-dimer levels, D-dimer blood test

 If the D-dimer levels are not in the normal range, your doctor will probably ask for more tests to make a precise diagnosis of your problem.

What Will Happen When Your D-Dimer Blood Test Levels are not Normal?

If the D-dimer blood test results are not normal, your doctor might order one or more scan tests to determine whether you have a clotting disorder or not. These tests include:

CT Angiography

It is a type of test involving a CT scan and injecting a special dye into your vein. This procedure of CT angiography creates images of your blood vessels on a specific type of x-ray machine.

Doppler ultrasound 

It is a noninvasive test that produces sound waves to create images of blood flow in your veins. It helps to diagnose many health conditions, including blood clots, valves’ function, congenital heart disease, and artery blockage.

 Ventilation-perfusion (V/Q) scan

These include two tests that can be performed separately or together. The ventilation scan helps to determine the blood clots in the lungs.

In both tests, lab assistants use small amounts of radioactive substances at the machine to observe the blood flow within your lungs.

Does D-Dimer Test Pose Any Risks?

Inserting a needle inside your vein and taking out a blood sample wi carries risks, including little bleeding, rashes, bruising, or feeling pain at the site of injection. When the needle goes inside your arm, you may feel a modest stinging sensation or pain. 

What Might Affect the D-Dimer Levels?

 D-Dimer levels may be higher in people with other health conditions including infection, cardiac disease, liver disease, cancer, pregnancy, and injury.

How do You Get Ready For the D Dimer Blood Test?

You don’t need to prepare anything special for this test. 

How Can You Lower the D-Dimer Levels?

People with specific medical situations, including congenital heart disease and stroke, may require blood-thinning medications to minimise the clotting and reduce their risk of stroke, cardiac arrest and pulmonary artery failure.

Statins are HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors 

It is essential to talk with a doctor before trying these medications and home remedies, as they may interfere with prescription medications.

READ MORE – C-Peptide Test – Purpose, Results & Side Effects

Some foods and other prescribed medication that may act as blood thinners and help to minimise the risk of clots include the following list:

Statins are HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors 

Statins have scientific proven antithrombotic properties. They are prescribed drug that helps in the reduction of several prothrombotic markers, including D-dimer, in patients at high risk of arterial thrombosis and stroke.

Some natural food and other supplements that are natural blood thinners and help to minimise the risk of clots include the following list:

  • Turmeric 
  • Ginger
  • Cayenne peppers
  • Vitamin E.
  • Garlic
  • Cassia cinnamon
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Grape seed extract

What are the Normal D-dimer Levels?

Normal D-dimer levels are less than 0.50. A high D-dimer is considered 0.50 or greater than 0.50. Since this is a screening test, a range higher than 0.50 D-Dimer is a positive result.

Blood levels

IS 200 D dimer levels normal?

The rate of confirmed VTE in low-risk patients with D-dimer levels between 200 and 500 ng/mL is low. Patients with suspected VTE with D-dimer levels less than 500 ng/mL may not ask for additional testing.

COVID-19 & D-Dimer Blood Test

COVID-19 virus is an infectious disease that primarily affects the lower respiratory tract infection causes dry cough, high fever, trouble breathing, and dullness.

However, a few cases of the Covid-19 generates into its severe infection, including multi-organ failure and DIC. Therefore, it is crucial to distinguish appropriately among the COVID-19 patients who have a severe condition of organ failure.

They need a proper infection to treatment to get a better prognosis. The high D-dimer levels help to recognise people at higher risk of organ failure due to COVID-19 complications.

Although the D-dimer test helps determine severe thromboembolism (VTE) in COVID-19 patients, a high level of D-dimer results does not clarify that a patient is suffering from VTE.

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