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A 41-year-old member asked:

slightly elevated d dimer but negative radiology tests. whats up?

4 doctor answers18 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ted King
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Non specific test: I would put more stock in the negative radiology findings. A d-dimer that is slightly elevated is so non-specific that it is really not at all helpful is making a diagnosis of anything.
Dr. John Landi
Phlebology 47 years experience
Non specific.: D dimer is a non specific blood test and can be elevated for many reasons including infection and various types of inflammation. When used to evaluate dvt, a negative test is very helpful, but a positive test requires other documentary evidence to prove DVT such as ultrasound or ct. What you describe is considered a nonspecific finding.
Dr. Chadi Zeinati
Interventional Radiology 17 years experience
It is used to evaluate for pulmonary emboli , not just DVT. So if elevated in the clinical setting of a possible PE then a CTA thorax looking for the emboli is warranted
Jul 14, 2013
Dr. Joseph Accurso
Radiology 29 years experience
D-dimer is very: Sensitive (meaning a negative result is almost never wrong), but it is not specific (meaning a positive test does not help determine what exact diagnosis a patient has). Therefore, there are many reasons for a positive test, and only a few of them are worrisome, such as deep vein thrombus or pulmonary embolism. Radiology tests help rule out those diseases.
Dr. Joel Gotvald
Vascular Surgery 25 years experience
Not specific: A D-dimer is useful because it is very sensitive but the problem is that it is not specific for blood clots. Something else other than clot could cause slight elevation. Also, you could have a small clot somewhere else in the body that was not detected by radiology x-rays. The radiology tests are the most important (better than D-dimer) & should focus on the location of your symptoms.

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Similar questions

Centreville, VA
A 46-year-old female asked:

Why would I have repeated high d-dimer tests but have doctors unable to find any signs of clots?

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Dr. Bac Nguyen
Family Medicine 23 years experience
Positive not useful: A negative d-dimer test is very useful--because it practically tells you no clot. A positive test is not very useful because quite a few conditions cause positive d-dimer test: liver disease, high rheumatoid factor, inflammation, malignancy, trauma, pregnancy, recent surgery as well as advanced age can cause high d-dimer test.. Consult your doc for more info. Good luck.
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How accurate is a d dimer in ruling out pulmonary embolisim?

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Very accurate: Many things can cause an elevated d-dimer value, including blood clots, infection, and any general inflammation. This makes is a poor test determine the underlying problem. However, if it is normal, it rules many things out, including blood clots.
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A 41-year-old member asked:

What is a common cause of high d dimer levels?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gregory Tichenor
Emergency Medicine 32 years experience
Lots of things: The d-dimer test will be elevated in many conditions where the blood is making and dissolving blood clots. We use it to detect abnormal clots in the leg or lungs but unfortunately the test is often abnormal after surgery or trauma, in pregnancy and many other illnesses. This makes it a difficult test to interpret and use. In the right patient, a normal test can be very useful.

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Last updated Jan 17, 2020

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