Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a condition that includes both deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep inside a part of the body. It mainly affects the large veins in the lower leg and thigh. Undiagnosed and untreated DVT is particularly dangerous because of the risk of a pulmonary embolism. Not only can a clot block blood flow in the lower extremities, but it also can break off and move through the bloodstream, lodging in the lungs, leading to severe damage and even death.
Pulmonary embolism (PE) happens when a clot blocks the supply of blood to the lungs. In most cases, it is caused by a clot travelling from the legs. A clot that develops in one area of the body and then travels to other parts of the body is known as an embolus.
D-Dimer is a fibrin degradation product (or FDP), a small protein fragment present in the blood after a blood clot is degraded by fibrinolysis. D-Dimer test is an excellent non-invasive triage test for patients with suspected DVT and PE. The test has a high negative-predic value (NPV) for DVT and PE when used properly. A rapid, low-cost, and simple peripheral blood test with good accuracy provide a valuable tool for physicians to rule out the presence of DVT and PE, as well as reduce the need for more time-consuming and expensive testing.