Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a serious prothrombotic disease state caused by acquired or inherited factors and is responsible for a high rate of morbidity and mortality. Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) refer to VTE located in the deep veins or lungs, respectively. Diagnostic strategies for identification of VTE, DVT, and PE include imaging as well as laboratory testing methodologies such as the D-dimer assay. The purpose of this educational activity is to review clinical decision rules, case studies, and the role of the D-dimer assay in the diagnostic management of VTE.
- Recognize venous thromboembolism: deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism and its consequences.
- Discuss the use of D-dimer in the exclusion of patients with clinically suspected first-episode or recurrent deep-vein thrombosis.
- Discuss the utility of D-dimer in the determination of length of anticoagulation after first-episode deep-vein thrombosis.