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J Thromb Haemost. 2005 Feb;3(2):268-71.

D-dimer levels during delivery and the postpartum.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospitals of Geneva and Faculty of Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland.



D-dimer (DD) measurement has proved to be very useful to exclude venous thromboembolism (VTE) in outpatients. However, during pregnancy, the progressive increase as well as the interindividual variations of DD means that in this instance they are of poor value to rule out VTE. Only a few studies have reported measurements of DD levels in the postpartum.


To measure DD sequentially in the puerperium in order to determine when DD levels return to values obtained in non-pregnant women and can again be used in the exclusion of VTE.


After uncomplicated pregnancies, 150 women delivering at term either vaginally (n = 100) or by cesarean section (n = 50) were included. DD levels were measured immediately following delivery and next at days 1, 3, 10, 30 and 45.


There was a marked elevation of DD at delivery, especially when instrumental. All DD measurements were above 500 ng mL(-1) at delivery, at day 1 and at day 3 postpartum. A sharp decrease in DD was observed between day 1 and day 3, followed by a slight increase at day 10. At day 30 and day 45, respectively, 79% and 93% of women in the vaginal delivery group and 70% and 83% in the cesarean group had levels below 500 ng mL(-1). Bleeding, breastfeeding and heparin prophylaxis did not modify DD levels significantly.


Using the Vidas DD new assay, our study provides reference intervals for DD in the postpartum period. Using a cut-off at 500 ng mL(-1), DD measurement for ruling out VTE was found to be useful again 4 weeks after delivery.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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