D-dimer as an applicable test for detection of posttraumatic deep vein thrombosis in lower limb fracture

Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ). 2012 Jun;41(6):E78-80.


Measuring the plasma levels of D-dimer is an accurate and easy modality to detect deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in nontraumatic settings. However, the diagnostic reliability of D-dimer assays in detecting posttraumatic DVT among patients with lower limb fracture undergoing orthopedic surgery is not validated. In this study, 141 patients with lower limb fracture admitted through the emergency department and undergoing orthopedic surgery were enrolled. Postoperative venous blood samples for D-dimer assay were taken on the 1st, 7th, and 28th postoperative days. Color Doppler sonography examination of both lower limbs was performed at the same time as a standard test. Eight out of the 141 patients (6%) had acute DVT based on Color Doppler sonography. Mean D-dimer was 2160 ng/mL in DVT positive patients and 864 in DVT negative patients. D-dimer levels greater than 1000 ng/mL were 100% sensitive and 71% specific for detecting postoperative DVT. D-dimer assay is a useful and sensitive test for detecting posttraumatic DVT.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products / analysis*
  • Fractures, Bone / blood
  • Fractures, Bone / complications*
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Leg / diagnostic imaging
  • Leg Injuries / blood
  • Leg Injuries / complications*
  • Leg Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Period
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Color
  • Venous Thrombosis / blood
  • Venous Thrombosis / diagnosis*
  • Venous Thrombosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Venous Thrombosis / etiology


  • Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products
  • fibrin fragment D