Validation, Calibration, and Specificity of Quantitative D-Dimer Assays
22 November 2005 (online)
Assays for D-dimer antigen are based on monoclonal antibodies reactive with epitopes found on fibrin fragment D-dimer but not on fibrinogen fragment D, other fibrinogen degradation products, or native fibrinogen. The antibodies react with conformational epitopes generated by factor XIII-induced linkage of the C-terminal appendages of the fibrin γ-chains of adjacent D-domains within a fibrin polymer. For some monoclonal antibodies, degradation of the cross-linked fibrin compound by plasmin is an additional requirement for the generation of the epitope. In clinical plasma samples, D-dimer antigen assays detect an array of fibrin compounds of different molecular weights, including fibrin fragment D-dimer as well as higher-molecular-weight fibrin degradation products and fibrin X-oligomers. Most D-dimer antigen represents cross-linked soluble fibrin present in circulation rather than degradation products from particulate clots. Due to differences in epitope reactivity, harmonization of D-dimer antigen assays can only be achieved with standard preparations containing a similar variety of cross-linked fibrin compounds. Assay technologies include manual latex agglutination assays, automated latex-enhanced light-scattering immunoassays, enzyme-linked immunoassays, and others.
D-dimer - fibrinogen/fibrin degradation products - fibrinogen - thrombin - factor XIII