"When is it ordered?
D-dimer may be ordered when a patient has symptoms of DVT, such as leg pain, tenderness, swelling, discoloration, edema; or symptoms of PE, such as labored breathing, coughing, and lung-related chest pain. D-dimer is especially useful when the doctor thinks that something other than DVT or PE is causing the symptoms. It is a quick, non-invasive way for the doctor to help rule out abnormal or excess clotting. "
The rule out function of the d-dimer is the most useful....d-dimers are great when they come back negative since that means that a clot is ruled out...but a postive d-dimer is totally non-specific and does not mean that there is a clot....taking oral steriods could even cause an elevation...so you will see more tests to rule out a clot with an elevated d-dimer but the work-up usually stops with a negative one.
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