A D-Dimer Test Is a Blood Test That Checks for, or Monitors, Blood-Clotting Problems
A D-dimer test is a blood test that checks for, or monitors, blood-clotting problems. A positive test means the D-dimer level in the body is higher than normal and suggests someone might have blood clots.
This test measures the amount of D-dimer, a type of protein the body produces to break down a blood clot.
Blood clots form whenever a blood vessel is damaged, whether that’s by an injury or by atherosclerosis, or when blood flow is restricted, such as by a vessel being compressed for a long time. D-dimer is normally undetectable in the blood but it is produced when the body is trying to break down a blood clot.
Your doctor might ask you to have this test if they suspect you have blood clotting problems or wants to rule them out. These blood clotting problems include:
If you are undergoing treatment for disseminated intravascular coagulation, your doctor may use the D-dimer test to monitor your condition.
No preparation is needed for this test. A blood sample is taken from a vein in the arm.
A higher than normal D-dimer level might mean you have had a significant blood clot. However, the test does not tell where the clot was or what caused it.
Other health problems can also cause the D-dimer level to go up. Therefore, the D-dimer test is not the only test used to diagnose a disease or condition. It is usually used with other blood tests and imaging scans.
If the D-dimer test is positive, then you might be sent for imaging. A normal D-dimer level usually indicates a clotting problem is unlikely.
Visit Lab Tests Online website for more information about D-dimer testing. You can also read more about blood tests in general.
Read this guide to blood testing to learn more about blood tests, including:
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