BackgroundCancer is a well-known risk factor for venous thromboembolism (VTE). A combined strategy of D-dimer testing and clinical pre-test probability is usually used to exclude VTE. However, its effectiveness is diminished in cancer patients due to reduced specificity, ultimately leading to a decreased clinical utility. This review article seeks to provide a comprehensive summary of how to interpret D-dimer testing in cancer patients. MethodsIn accordance with PRISMA standards, literature pertaining to the diagnostic and prognostic significance of D-dimer testing in cancer patients was carefully chosen from reputable sources such as PubMed and the Cochrane databases. ResultsD-dimers have not only a diagnostic value in ruling out VTE but can also serve as an aid for rule-in if their values exceed 10-times the upper limit of normal. This threshold allows a diagnosis of VTE in cancer patients with a positive predictive value of more than 80%. Moreover, elevated D-dimers carry important prognostic information and are associated with VTE reoccurrence. A gradual increase in risk for all-cause death suggests that VTE is also an indicator of biologically more aggressive cancer types and advanced cancer stages. Considering the lack of standardization for D-dimer assays, it is essential for clinicians to carefully consider the variations in assay performance and the specific test characteristics of their institution. ConclusionsStandardizing D-dimer assays and developing modified pretest probability models specifically for cancer patients, along with adjusted cut-off values for D-dimer testing, could significantly enhance the accuracy and effectiveness of VTE diagnosis in this population.

Unveiling the diagnostic enigma of D-dimer testing in cancer patients: Current evidence and areas of application

Bucolo, Giuseppe;D'Angelo, Tommaso;
2023-01-01

Abstract

BackgroundCancer is a well-known risk factor for venous thromboembolism (VTE). A combined strategy of D-dimer testing and clinical pre-test probability is usually used to exclude VTE. However, its effectiveness is diminished in cancer patients due to reduced specificity, ultimately leading to a decreased clinical utility. This review article seeks to provide a comprehensive summary of how to interpret D-dimer testing in cancer patients. MethodsIn accordance with PRISMA standards, literature pertaining to the diagnostic and prognostic significance of D-dimer testing in cancer patients was carefully chosen from reputable sources such as PubMed and the Cochrane databases. ResultsD-dimers have not only a diagnostic value in ruling out VTE but can also serve as an aid for rule-in if their values exceed 10-times the upper limit of normal. This threshold allows a diagnosis of VTE in cancer patients with a positive predictive value of more than 80%. Moreover, elevated D-dimers carry important prognostic information and are associated with VTE reoccurrence. A gradual increase in risk for all-cause death suggests that VTE is also an indicator of biologically more aggressive cancer types and advanced cancer stages. Considering the lack of standardization for D-dimer assays, it is essential for clinicians to carefully consider the variations in assay performance and the specific test characteristics of their institution. ConclusionsStandardizing D-dimer assays and developing modified pretest probability models specifically for cancer patients, along with adjusted cut-off values for D-dimer testing, could significantly enhance the accuracy and effectiveness of VTE diagnosis in this population.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/3267129
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