Seminars in Vascular Medicine 2005; 05(4): 379-386
DOI: 10.1055/s-2005-922484
Copyright © 2005 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

D-Dimer Testing in Ischemic Stroke and Cerebral Sinus and Venous Thrombosis

Alessandro Squizzato1 , Walter Ageno1
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine 1, University of Insubria, Varese, Italy
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
22 November 2005 (online)

ABSTRACT

D-dimer measurement is commonly included in the diagnostic workup of patients with suspected acute symptomatic deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. As a haemostatic marker, it could be theoretically useful in other thromboembolic disorders, such as acute cerebrovascular events. In this review we summarize published literature on D-dimer testing in acute ischemic stroke and cerebral sinus and venous thrombosis (CSVT), discussing possible clinical diagnostic and therapeutical applications. In ischemic stroke, mounting evidence suggests a possible role of D-dimer in the acute diagnosis of ischemic stroke subtypes, especially in identifying tromboembolic and lacunar stroke. Its prognostic role still remains unclear, due to conflicting data. D-dimer could be also an useful screening test for excluding CSVT in patients presenting with acute headache, making the presence of cerebral thrombosis unlikely with low plasma levels. In this clinical setting sensitivity and negative predictive value are comparable to that reported in the diagnosis of acute thromboembolic disease. However, more studies are needed to confirm these recent findings as well as management studies to correctly introduce D-dimer measurement in clinical daily practice of ischemic stroke and CSVT.