Background: Pregnant women are at a hyper-coagulable state with a higher risk of deep venous thromboembolism (VTE) and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), which could be life threatening. We established gestational age-specific reference intervals for D-dimer, and estimate the role of D-dimer test in ruling out VTE and DIC in pregnant women.
Methods: We followed 1343 healthy pregnant women and 1042 uncomplicated postpartum women to establish gestational age-specific reference intervals of D-dimer during normal pregnancy. Eighty uncomplicated non-pregnant women were chosen as control group. D-dimer testing was also performed among the patients with pregnancy-related complications.
Results: D-dimer concentration increased progressively during the pregnancy and peaked at the first postpartum day, and then it began to decrease steadily and reach to non-pregnant concentrations on the 42nd postpartum day. The results of several cases that had clinical suspicion of VTE were compared with those of the reference group.
Conclusions: The study provides reference intervals of D-dimer during the pregnancy and postpartum period for women of Chinese Han ethnicity using latex-based immunoturbidimetry on the STA-R evolution coagulation analyzer. Further studies are needed to validate these reference ranges and assess the clinical utility of the reference intervals for D-dimer.
Keywords: D-dimer; Postpartum; Pregnancy; Reference interval; Venous thromboembolism.