Is D-dimer helpful in evaluating stroke patients? A systematic review.

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Is D-dimer helpful in evaluating stroke patients? A systematic review.

Acta Neurol Scand. 2009 Mar;119(3):141-50

Authors: Haapaniemi E, Tatlisumak T

D-dimer (DD) is a fibrin degradation product present in negligible amounts in healthy individuals, but in thrombotic/fibrinolytic conditions substantially increases in plasma. Over the last two decades numerous studies have explored whether DD measurements would help stroke clinicians. An easy, reliable, and inexpensive test for stroke diagnosis, determination of stroke subtype, severity, prognosis, and recurrence risk is being sought. We searched the database, of studies indexed in English on MEDLINE, using the keywords 'cerebral venous thrombosis, D-dimer, deep vein thrombosis, intracerebral hemorrhage, ischemic stroke, outcome, prognosis, and subarachnoid hemorrhage' for relevant studies. Here, we systematically review current evidence on plasma DD levels in patients with ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes, transient ischemic attacks, and cerebral venous thrombosis. Numerous studies showed that patients with various strokes and stroke-related diseases had acutely increased plasma DD levels. Plasma DD levels, however, are neither sensitive nor specific enough to be utilized in stroke diagnostics and cannot replace either clinical or radiological evaluation. Regarding prediction of patient outcome, good clinical evaluation is clearly superior to DD testing.

PMID: 18705677 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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