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Arch Intern Med. 2002 Dec 9-23;162(22):2589-93.

Plasma measurement of D-dimer levels for the early diagnosis of ischemic stroke subtypes.

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1
Divisione di Medicina Interna, Ospedale di Circolo, Università dell'Insubria, Viale Borri 57, 21100 Varese, Italy. agewal@yahoo.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Different coagulation abnormalities according to stroke subtypes have been reported. We have assessed the clinical utility of D-dimer, a product of fibrin degradation, in the early diagnosis of stroke subtypes.

METHODS:

Patients hospitalized after an acute ischemic cerebrovascular event underwent D-dimer assay (STA Liatest D-Dimer) (reference level, <0.50 micro g/mL) on days 1, 6 +/- 1, and 12 +/- 1 and were studied to identify stroke subtypes.

RESULTS:

We included 126 patients (mean age, 75.5 years) and 63 age-matched control subjects. Stroke subtypes were cardioembolic in 34 patients (27%), atherothrombotic in 34 (27%), lacunar in 31 (25%), and unknown in 27 (21%). At all 3 measurements, D-dimer levels were significantly higher in the cardioembolic group (mean +/- SEM, 2.96 +/- 0.51, 2.58 +/- 0.40, and 3.79 +/- 0.30 micro g/mL, respectively) than in the atherothrombotic (1.34 +/- 0.21, 1.53 +/- 0.26, and 2.91 +/- 0.23 micro g/mL, respectively) (P<.05) and lacunar (0.67 +/- 0.08, 0.72 +/- 0.15, and 0.64 +/- 0.06 micro g/mL, respectively) groups (P<.01). The difference was also significant between the latter 2 groups (P<.01). We found no difference between the lacunar group and controls (0.53 +/- 0.14 micro g/mL). According to day 1 measurements, the optimal cutoff point for predicting cardioembolic stroke was 2.00 micro g/mL, resulting in a specificity of 93.2% and in a sensitivity of 59.3%. For predicting lacunar stroke, the cutoff point was 0.54 micro g/mL, with a specificity of 96.2% and a sensitivity of 61.3%.

CONCLUSION:

The increasing use of the D-dimer assay in clinical practice could be extended to patients presenting with acute cerebrovascular ischemic events to help predict stroke subtype.

PMID:
12456231
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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