The D-Dimer test is prescribed for people who are suspected to suffer from blood clotting disorders. Blood clotting is an essential factor for survival. When the body gets injured and gets a cut, the clotting factors ensure that all the blood does not flow out from it. When a clot dissolves, it releases a protein fragment known as D-Dimer. The presence of D-Dimer and the levels at which it is detected help doctors with the prognosis for clotting disorders like deep vein thrombosis. This test is also known as the fibrin degradation fragment test.
When an internal injury occurs that results in the rupturing of a blood vessel, hemostasis is initiated. In this process, the blood is made to clot so that the ruptured vessel stops bleeding. Once the bleeding stops, the clot dissolves. This releases the D-Dimer fragment protein. It is specific to clot formation and dissolution. In cases where clots are formed in excess, the D-Dimer test is a good way to determine clotting disorder and provide specific treatments.
The formation of clots helps keep the loss of blood due to an injury to a minimum. Without clotting factors in place and the process of blood coagulation, people would have bled to death, even from minor injuries.
When a person has excessive clots in the body, it can lead to conditions like:
The test is prescribed when the following symptoms are observed:
The D-Dimer test is used to measure the presence of the remnants of the fibrins as clots dissolve. When a clot dissolves, it leaves traces of D-Dimer. This test is also prescribed as a means of monitoring the treatment progression of disseminated intravascular coagulation. The D-Dimer test is prescribed when people are suspected to have clotting disorders.
The test is done to check for clotting disorders, and hence, care should be taken when it is conducted. In terms of potential risks, the collection of blood poses none of these to the person. Some people might see swelling or bruising around the area from where the needle was inserted to draw blood. But, these are minor injuries and often go away quickly. The most common side effects are nausea and feeling dizzy. Rest and vitamin supplements help address this issue.
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Disseminated intravascular coagulation or DIC is a condition that arises from the overactivity of the proteins that control blood clotting. Blood clots are formed within blood vessels that clump together to cause a blockage.
If a person is not suffering from clotting disorders but the D-Dimer result came as positive, it can also mean the following:
While D-Dimer helps estimate the presence of unwanted clots, it cannot pinpoint their location. Hence, Doppler ultrasound, CT, and lung ventilation-perfusion scan are prescribed to know the exact location of the blockages.
The D-Dimer test can either yield a positive result or a negative result. When the test is negative, it means that the person does not have any clotting diseases, and the symptoms may mean other conditions. In the case of a positive result, there are two possibilities, based on the levels in which the protein fragment is found.
High amounts of protein D-Dimer found in the blood can mean the person is suffering from a clotting disorder. A person who is already diagnosed with a clotting disorder will have only a slight amount of protein in the blood. This means that the treatment is working. If he/she is already diagnosed and the monitoring report still shows high levels, even after medications, it means that the treatment is not working, and another course of action is required.
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