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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Hematology Topics

Question: Positive D-Dimer

 Mindy - Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:59 pm

I am 27/F. I went to the emergency room for chest pains that worsened when I took deep breaths or yawned. They first did a chest x-ray which was normal. Then they did a d-dimer blood test which came back positive. 2.2 mg/L with a range of .4 mg/L-1.4 mg/L. I then had a chest CT which was normal and showed no clotting. Would you consider my d-dimer level significantly high? What things other than cancer or inflammation could cause this? I have had no recent surgeries, however I am 4 months postpartum (natural birth). The nurse had a hard time drawing my blood, she poked and prodded and it came out REALLY slow. Could this cause it to be elevated?
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:45 pm

User avatar D-dimers are break down products of blood clots. In your case, they were likely using it as a screening test for pulmonary embolism. Since the CT was negative, it is quite unlikely that this was the cause.

In the absence of other findings, an elevated D-Dimer to the extent that yours is elevated is extremely nonspecific and likely does not represent pathology. If you were in the hospital we may want to check another one later to see if it had returned to normal. If you were an outpatient I would probably not worry about it and would not order a repeat.

Your pain sounds more consistent with costochondritis or pleurisy than with heart or pulmonary embolism causes.

If you still have questions regarding your pain feel free to post some details and we'll see if we can help you.

Hope this helps.
 Mindy - Tue Jan 16, 2007 5:17 pm

Thanks for your quick reply. What do you mean by pathology? Does that mean it is not likely to be positive as a result of cancer? I tried researching it on the web, but the range my doctor used appears to be different from the other ranges I am seeing, I'm just wondering how elevated mine was. Thanks again for your help.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:30 pm

User avatar Sorry for the confusion. By pathology I meant "anything not normal". I suspect that your lab test does not represent anything abnormal, but is most likely simply a normal variation.

I would highly doubt that your elevated D-Dimer (which is very minimally elevated) would be related to cancer.

Unless you are having other symptoms, I think you can just continue to follow up with your regular health exams.

Hope this helps a little better.
 pain_eraser - Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:20 pm

I'm a 42 y / M, with past history of D.M. and hypertension controlled on medications, quit smoking three years ago., I'm obese 120 kg., 173 cm height, last week I suffered dyspnea and need for more air to breath, and whenever I try to have more air I feel pain in the middle of the chest, dull aching, after two days of suffering, suddenly I had a more severe attack of dyspnea with dizziness and about to be fainting, with slight sweating and pallor, so I went to E.R., they performed ECG, chest x-ray and echo-cardiography all of which were normal , CPKmb, tropinine I negative , yet D-dimer was positive 268 n/l (normal up to 200) I got panic and I'm booking for CT pulmonary angio., I don't know if the CT was negative for pulmonary embolism , what might be the cause of positive d-dimer , can it be malignancy ?? what further tests do you suggest, dyspnea and air hunger are much improving and the attacks are very infrequent now. Thanks for your help

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