eISSN: 1896-9151
ISSN: 1734-1922
Archives of Medical Science
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vol. 13
Clinical research

Admission D-dimer testing for differentiating acute aortic dissection from other causes of acute chest pain

Wenlong Li
Bi Huang
Li Tian
Yanmin Yang
Weili Zhang
Xiaojian Wang
Jingzhou Chen
Kai Sun
Rutai Hui
Xiaohan Fan

Arch Med Sci 2017; 13, 3: 591–596
Online publish date: 2017/04/20
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Introduction: The present study aims to evaluate the utility of D-dimer testing for differentiating the causes of acute chest pain, including acute aortic dissection (AAD), pulmonary embolism (PE), acute myocardial infarction (AMI), unstable angina (UA), and other uncertain diagnoses of chest pain.

Material and methods: Consecutive patients admitted for acute chest pain within 24 h from symptom onset were enrolled prospectively, and plasma D-dimer levels were measured on admission. Diagnoses of AAD, PE, AMI, and UA were confirmed by standard methods.

Results: A total of 790 patients were enrolled, including 202 AAD, 43 PE, 315 AMI, 136 UA, and 94 cases of other uncertain diagnoses. D-dimer levels were significantly higher in patients with AAD and PE than in those with AMI, UA, and other uncertain diagnoses (p < 0.001), but they were comparable between patients with AAD and PE (p = 0.065). Moreover, patients with type A AAD had higher D-dimer levels than those with type B AAD (p = 0.022). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis showed that a D-dimer level < 0.5 µg/ml was a good predictor for ruling out AAD, with a sensitivity of 94.0% and a specificity of 56.8%. At a cut-off level of 0.5 µg/ml, the negative and positive likelihood ratios were 0.10 and 2.18, respectively, with a positive predictive value of 42.6% and a negative predictive value of 96.6%.

Conclusions: The D-dimer level within 24 h after symptom onset might be helpful for differentiating AAD from other causes of chest pain.

pulmonary embolism, acute myocardial infarction, unstable angina, chest pain

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