D-Dimer Blood Test
The D-Dimer Blood Test detects and measures D-dimer levels in the blood to screen for a blood clotting disorder.
What is the purpose of this test?
Order this D-Dimer Blood Test to assess one's risk of forming dangerous blood clots. D-dimer is a substance that is not typically found in the blood. It is only released when the body breaks down a blood clot. The process of blood clotting is crucial as it helps prevent excessive blood loss in case of an injury. After the injury has healed, the clot will dissolve naturally. However, if you have a blood clotting disorder, clots can form without an apparent injury or fail to dissolve when expected. These conditions are severe and could even be life-threatening.
This test is commonly requested for people with clotting disorders or those who are prone to such conditions. These disorders may include:
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): where large blood clots form in the legs.
- Pulmonary embolism (PE): where a clot blocks blood flow to the lungs.
- Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC): where an individual's blood does not coagulate when it is supposed to.
- Stroke: A blockage that restricts blood flow to the brain.
What do abnormal D-Dimer levels indicate?
If you have high levels of D-dimer in your blood, it could indicate a blood clotting disorder. However, a higher than normal D-dimer blood test doesn't necessarily mean a clotting problem. It could also be a sign of the body healing from an injury. Blood clots are a concern for doctors after surgery or physical trauma. Still, the D-dimer level in the blood will be high regardless of whether there's a clotting issue because clotting is part of the recovery process. Healthcare providers may order multiple D-dimer blood tests after surgery to ensure the levels decrease as expected.
When should I order a D-Dimer Blood Test?
Individuals may order this test if they have experienced symptoms related to a blood clotting disorder. Common signs or symptoms of a blood clotting disorder may include:
- Pain or tenderness in legs
- Swelling in legs
- Redness or red streaks on the legs
- Trouble breathing
- Chest pain
- Fast heartbeat
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