Seminars in Vascular Medicine 2005; 05(4): 375-378
DOI: 10.1055/s-2005-922483
Copyright © 2005 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

D-Dimer Testing in Pregnancy

Sabine Eichinger1
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine I, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
22 November 2005 (online)

ABSTRACT

Normal pregnancy is associated with alterations of the hemostatic system toward a hypercoagulable state. Elevated markers of coagulation and fibrinolytic system activation, such as D-dimer, indicate increased thrombin activity and increased fibrinolysis following fibrin formation throughout pregnancy. Testing for D-dimer in pregnant women could be useful for the diagnosis and prediction of a venous thromboembolic event or pregnancy-related complications and for monitoring antithrombotic treatment. This approach, however, is hampered by the fact that even an uncomplicated pregnancy in healthy women is accompanied by a substantial increase of D-dimer. Thus, prior to clinical application reference values of D-dimer according to gestational age need to be validated. A substantial increase of D-dimer during pregnancy is seen despite thromboprophylaxis with low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH), indicating that further studies are needed to evaluate monitoring of LMWH during pregnancy and to investigate the optimal beginning and dose of LMWH thromboprophylaxis in pregnant women.

REFERENCES

Sabine Eichinger, M.D. 

Department of Internal Medicine I, Medical University of Vienna

Waehringer Guertel 18-20, 1090 Vienna, Austria