MAY 02, 2016 8:00 AM PDT

D-dimer Testing in Emergency Settings

Sponsored by: Diagnostica Stago, Inc.
  • Associate Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School
      Dr. Christopher Kabrhel is an attending physician at the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Emergency Medicine. He graduated from John Hopkins University School of Medicine. He then completed his residency with Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency Program (HAEMR) at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Kabrhel also has his Masters in Public Health from Harvard School of Public Health. He is an associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School. He is also a staff researcher at the Channing Laboratory at Brigham and Women's Hospital and holds an appointment at the MGH Institute for Heart, Vascular and Stroke Care, where he is a founding member of the Pulmonary Embolism Response Team (PERT). Dr. Kabrhel has been invited to lecture nationally and internationally on the topic of venous thromboembolic disease and teaches research methodology to emergency medicine residents. In 2002 he co-founded the HAEMR Research Interest Group (RIG) and is currently the faculty liaison to this group. The purpose of the RIG is to provide a forum for collaboration and didactic education to residents interested in clinical research. Dr. Kabrhel is core faculty for HAEMR journal club and a Harvard College summer course focused on technology and innovation.


    D-dimer is often an underutilized test in the evaluation and management of emergency roon patients.  This presentation focuses on the clinical use of D-dimer testing in the Emergency Department, particularly as it relates to the evaluation of possible venous thromboembolism (pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis). Strengths and limitations of D-dimer, and novel ways of using this important test are also discussed.

    • Understand epidemiology, clinical presentation and prognosis of venous thromboembolism (VTE) – the clinical condition for which D-dimer testing is most often considered.
    • Understand how D-dimer testing is integrated with clinical assessment and other diagnostic tests in the workup of patients with possible VTE.
    • Understand test characteristics of D-dimer assays, and how they are affected by pre-existing patient characteristics.

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