Diagnostic test accuracy of D-dimer for acute aortic syndrome: systematic review and meta-analysis of 22 studies with 5000 subjects

Sci Rep. 2016 May 27:6:26893. doi: 10.1038/srep26893.


Diagnostic test accuracy of D-dimer for acute aortic dissection (AAD) has not been evaluated by meta-analysis with the bivariate model methodology. Four databases were electrically searched. We included both case-control and cohort studies that could provide sufficient data concerning both sensitivity and specificity of D-dimer for AAD. Non-English language articles and conference abstract were allowed. Intramural hematoma and penetrating aortic ulcer were regarded as AAD. Based on 22 eligible articles consisting of 1140 AAD subjects and 3860 non-AAD subjects, the diagnostic odds ratio was 28.5 (95% CI 17.6-46.3, I(2) = 17.4%) and the area under curve was 0.946 (95% CI 0.903-0.994). Based on 833 AAD subjects and 1994 non-AAD subjects constituting 12 studies that used the cutoff value of 500 ng/ml, the sensitivity was 0.952 (95% CI 0.901-0.978), the specificity was 0.604 (95% CI 0.485-0.712), positive likelihood ratio was 2.4 (95% CI 1.8-3.3), and negative likelihood ratio was 0.079 (95% CI 0.036-0.172). Sensitivity analysis using data of three high-quality studies almost replicated these results. In conclusion, D-dimer has very good overall accuracy. D-dimer <500 ng/ml largely decreases the possibility of AAD. D-dimer >500 ng/ml moderately increases the possibility of AAD.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aortic Dissection / blood
  • Aortic Dissection / diagnosis*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine / statistics & numerical data*
  • Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products / analysis*
  • Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Odds Ratio
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products
  • fibrin fragment D