d-Dimer Testing to Select Patients With a First Unprovoked Venous Thromboembolism Who Can Stop Anticoagulant Therapy: A Cohort Study.
Ann Intern Med. 2015 Jan 6;162(1):27-34
Authors: Kearon C, Spencer FA, O'Keeffe D, Parpia S, Schulman S, Baglin T, Stevens SM, Kaatz S, Bauer KA, Douketis JD, Lentz SR, Kessler CM, Moll S, Connors JM, Ginsberg JS, Spadafora L, Julian JA, d-Dimer Optimal Duration Study Investigators
BACKGROUND: Normal d-dimer levels after withdrawal of anticoagulant therapy are associated with a reduced risk for recurrence in patients with unprovoked venous thromboembolism (VTE) and may justify stopping treatment.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether patients with a first unprovoked VTE and negative d-dimer test result who stop anticoagulant therapy have a low risk for recurrence.
DESIGN: Prospective management study with blinded outcome assessment. (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00720915).
SETTING: 13 university-affiliated clinical centers.
PATIENTS: 410 adults aged 75 years or younger with a first unprovoked proximal deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism who had completed 3 to 7 months of anticoagulant therapy.
INTERVENTION: Anticoagulant therapy was stopped if d-dimer test results were negative and was not restarted if results were still negative after 1 month.
MEASUREMENTS: Recurrent VTE during an average follow-up of 2.2 years.
RESULTS: In 319 patients (78%) who had 2 negative d-dimer results and did not restart anticoagulant therapy, rates of recurrent VTE were 6.7% (95% CI, 4.8% to 9.0%) per patient-year overall (42 of 319), 9.7% (CI, 6.7% to 13.7%) per patient-year in men (33 of 180), 5.4% (CI, 2.5% to 10.2%) per patient-year in women with VTE not associated with estrogen therapy (9 of 81), and 0.0% (CI, 0.0% to 3.0%) per patient-year in women with VTE associated with estrogen therapy (0 of 58) (P = 0.001 for the 3-group comparison).
LIMITATIONS: Imprecision in female subgroups. Results may not be generalizable to different d-dimer assays from the one used in the study.
CONCLUSION: The risk for recurrence in patients with a first unprovoked VTE who have negative d-dimer results is not low enough to justify stopping anticoagulant therapy in men but may be low enough to justify stopping therapy in women.
PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
PMID: 25560712 [PubMed - in process]