D-dimer assay predicts mortality in critically ill patients without disseminated intravascular coagulation or venous thromboembolic disease.

Journal Article


To determine if D-dimer predicts outcomes in critically ill patients.


Observational, cohort study.


Medical intensive care unit (MICU) of a tertiary care hospital.

Patients and participants

Seventy-four patients consecutively admitted to the MICU.


D-dimer was measured by latex agglutination within 12 h of admission to the MICU.

Measurements and results

Of the study population, 43.2% had positive D-dimers. The in-hospital mortality rate in D-dimer positive patients was 28.1% as compared to 7.1% in D-dimer negative subjects (p = 0.024). D-dimer positive patients had significantly greater frequencies of venous thromboses (21.9% vs 4.8%, p = 0.035).


The D-dimer assay identifies patients at increased risk for mortality and may be a more sensitive test to determine the presence of underlying microvascular pathology in critically ill patients. A positive D-dimer at admission to the MICU is associated with an increased risk for the later development of a venous thromboembolic event (VTE).

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Shorr, AF; Trotta, RF; Alkins, SA; Hanzel, GS; Diehl, LF

Published Date

  • February 1999

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 25 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 207 - 210

PubMed ID

  • 10193549

Pubmed Central ID

  • 10193549

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1432-1238

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0342-4642

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s001340050817


  • eng