When Is a D-Dimer Blood Test Ordered by Your Physician?


Quick Answer

A physician may order a D-dimer blood test when a patient shows the symptoms of blood clotting, as stated by National Institutes of Health's MedlinePlus. This may be done if the doctor suspects a patient has conditions, such as disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), pulmonary embolism, stroke and deep vein thrombosis, as stated by WebMD. The test may also be conducted to determine if treatment for DIC is working.

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Full Answer

There is no special prepping that is required before the test. During the test, a blood sample is taken from the patient and taken to the lab for testing. A normal result is usually negative, which means that a patient is not experiencing blood clotting problems. If the test is carried out to see if DIC treatment is effective, a positive result is a decreasing D-dimer level, as stated by MedlinePlus.

A positive D-dimer test result indicates that a patient is experiencing blood clotting. This test does not provide the reason for clotting or the specific location of the clots. Other tests may be recommended to pinpoint the the location of the clots. The test can be positive because of several reasons, including pregnancy, elevated lipid levels, heart disease, liver disease, surgery and recent surgery.

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