D-dimer testing: A narrative review

L Wauthier, J Favresse, M Hardy, J Douxfils, G Le Gal, P M Roy, N van Es, C Ay, H Ten Cate, T Lecompte, G Lippi, F Mullier

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


D-dimer containing species are soluble fibrin degradation products derived from plasmin-mediated degradation of cross-linked fibrin, i.e., 'D-dimer'. D-dimer can hence be considered a biomarker of in vivo activation of both coagulation and fibrinolysis, the leading clinical application in daily practice of which is ruling out venous thromboembolism (VTE). D-dimer has been further evaluated for assessing the risk of VTE recurrence and helping define optimal duration of anticoagulation treatment in VTE, for diagnosing disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), and for screening those at enhanced risk of VTE. D-dimer assays should however be performed as intended by regulatory agencies, as their use outside these indications might make them a laboratory-developed test (LDT). This narrative review is aimed at: (1) reviewing the definition of D-dimer, (2) discussing preanalytical variables affecting D-dimer measurement, (3) reviewing and comparing the assays performance and some postanalytical variables (e.g., different units and age-adjusted cutoffs), and (4) discussing the interest of D-dimer measurement across different clinical settings, including pregnancy, cancer, and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-223
Number of pages73
JournalAdvances in clinical chemistry
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • Pregnancy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products/metabolism
  • Venous Thromboembolism/diagnosis
  • COVID-19/diagnosis
  • Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation/diagnosis
  • Blood Coagulation Tests
  • Acute aortic syndrome (AAS)
  • Analytic
  • D-dimer
  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation
  • Preanalytic
  • COVID-19
  • Postanalytic
  • Venous thromboembolism
  • Cancer


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