What is the negative predictive value (NPV) of D-dimer assays in the workup of deep venous thrombosis (DVT)?

Updated: Jun 05, 2019
  • Author: Kaushal (Kevin) Patel, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

All D-dimer assays have been evaluated in various validation studies that determine the assay’s sensitivity, specificity, and negative predictive value (NPV). Unfortunately, fewer management studies have been conducted to determine the safety of withholding anticoagulant therapy on the basis of a negative test result. Furthermore, the NPV of a specific assay falls as the pretest probability of the study population at risk for DVT increases. An assay with a sensitivity of 80% has an NPV of 97.6% in a low-risk patient. However, the NPV of the same assay is only 33% in high-risk patients with a pretest probability of 90% for DVT.


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