How accurate are D-dimer tests?

Posted , 5 users are following.

I've been having lots of symptoms for a while now I've had 5 dimer tests done all are normal. I'm still having the symptoms and I'm just wondering if I should be happy with just the dimer results?

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  • Posted

    i would like to know what people think to this as well , i have had tests done several times and told they are within limits but had symptoms several times since first incident

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  • Posted

    Sazzle,

    I think five tests should reassure you but, if not why not ask for an echogram to check the blood is moving freely to the heart, that is what I was given no D-dimer

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    • Posted

      An echogram is pretty much the same as the sonogram they use on pregnant ladies, it uses sound. They put gel on and put it on various parts of the chest and can see if the blood is flowing through you correctly.

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    • Posted

      Well, I was given an echogram three months after I had a blood clot in the lung and was told the blood was running normally.

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    • Posted

      There is no such thing as an "echogram".

      If you are suspected of having a PE, what they usually do is an electrocardiogram or ECG. This is where they connect electrical leads to your chest and measure your heart's waveform. It's a very quick test that takes 10 minutes and can be performed by a nurse. The reason they do an ECG is because larger PEs can cause right heart strain, which would be visible on an ECG.

      The test where they put gel on your chest and look at your heart is called an echocardiogram. This is where a cardiologist uses an ultrasound machine to look at your heart. They may also get you to run on a treadmill to see how your heart reacts to stress (called a stress echocardiogram). An echocardiogram can also detect right heart strain, but it takes much longer to perform than an ECG and requires a cardiologist, so they usually wouldn't do this in the emergency department. It is more likely to be used during your follow-up to see if your PE is resolving itself and not putting strain on your heart.

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    • Posted

      Sorry Delio, I put echogram instead of echocardiogram. Obviously, I know what an ECG is I had one in my pre op for my hip op.

      The PE was confirmed by a CT scan which is how they confirm clots, the echocardiogram was three months later to check that the blood was flowing freely through the heart, which was stated in the letter I received from the hospital. I did not actually say the clot was discovered initially by an echocardiogram anyway.

      Sazzle, posted they had had 5 d-dimer tests which were clear but did not know whether to believe the results, that is why I suggested the echo test as apparently according to the hospital it shows whether the blood is running freely through the heart.

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    • Posted

      An echocardiogram is not used to screen for pulmonary embolism. The only way to reliable diagnose a PE is with a scan - either a CT scan or V/Q scan. Both of those scans expose you to a considerable amount of radiation, so the first step is usually a D-dimer and/or ECG. They will usually only order a scan if either of these tests is positive.

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    • Posted

      My GP said a d-dimer test is not accurate. If the hospital uses an echocardiogram to check the blood is flowing freely after a PE has been diagnosed and treated I expect they know what they are doing.

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  • Posted

    chest pain, cant take a deep breathe constant dizzyness, I have a feeling of something touching my lungs and I feel like I'm going to pass out. I had a chest x ray and it was clear, I've had loads of D-dimers done.

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    • Posted

      Sazzle, do you suffer from anxiety, I ask this, as you say you have a feeling like something touching your lung and dizziness etc. Anxiety makes us feel ill when we are not, we feel like we have a lot of things going on in our bodies, they feel real. could this be happening.

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  • Posted

    Many hospitals follow the Wells criteria to diagnose PE:

    https://www.mdcalc.com/wells-criteria-pulmonary-embolism

    You can see in the text at the bottom that a D-dimer test alone can only rule out PE in low to moderate risk patients. In high risk patients, a CT is required.

    For what it's worth, the last time I had a pulmonary embolism, I went to the emergency department with chest pains. My D-dimer test came back negative so they sent me home with painkillers. I went back later that day with continuing chest pains. Given my history of a previous PE, they did a CT which showed a small PE (as well as an ultrasound which found a DVT in my leg).

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    • Posted

      wow..... that's rare that the d-dimer was negative! I get the d-dimer done every 6 months just as a precaution. looks like I'm just throwing away my money for nothing! lol

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