Background Unprovoked venous thromboembolism (VTE) is related to a higher incidence of occult cancer. D-dimer is clinically used for screening VTE, and has often been shown to be present in patients with malignancy. We explored the predictive value of D-dimer for detecting occult cancer in patients with unprovoked VTE. Methods We retrospectively examined data from824 patients diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary thromboembolism. Of these, 169 (20.5%) patients diagnosed with unprovoked VTE were selected to participate in this study. D-dimer was categorized into three groups as: <2,000, 2,000-4,000, and >4,000 ng/ml. Cox regression analysis was employed to estimate the odds of occult cancer and metastatic state of cancer according to D-dimer categories. Results During a median 5.3 (interquartile range: 3.4-6.7) years of follow-up, 24 (14%) patients with unprovoked VTE were diagnosed with cancer. Of these patients, 16 (67%) were identified as having been diagnosed with metastatic cancer. Log transformed D-dimer levels were significantly higher in those with occult cancer as compared with patients without diagnosis of occult cancer (3.5±0.5 vs. 3.2±0.5, P-value = 0.009, respectively). D-dimer levels >4,000 ng/ml was independently associated with occult cancer (HR: 4.12, 95% CI: 1.54-11.04, Pvalue = 0.005) when compared with D-dimer levels <2,000 ng/ml, even after adjusting for age, gender, and type of VTE (e.g., deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary thromboembolism). D-dimer levels >4000 ng/ml were also associated with a higher likelihood of metastatic cancer (HR: 9.55, 95% CI: 2.46-37.17, P-value <0.001). Conclusion Elevated D-dimer concentrations >4000 ng/ml are independently associated with the likelihood of occult cancer among patients with unprovoked VTE.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)