Eur J Intern Med. 2021 Apr 28:S0953-6205(21)00117-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ejim.2021.04.004. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) recurrence is a major concern after a first symptomatic episode, potentially impacting survival and healthcare needs in community, hospital and rehabilitation settings. We evaluated the association of D-Dimer positivity after oral anticoagulant therapy (OAT) discontinuation with VTE recurrence.
METHODS: PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus and EMBASE databases were systematically searched. Differences were expressed as Odds Ratio (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (95%CI). Pooled sensitivity, specificity, positive (PLR) and negative likelihood ratio (NLR), and summary ROC (sROC) curve were calculated.
RESULTS: Twenty-six articles on 10,725 VTE patients showed that the absolute risk of recurrence was 16.1% (95%CI: 13.2%-19.5%) among 4,049 patients with a positive D-Dimer and 7.4% (95%CI: 6.0%-9.0%) in 6,676 controls (OR: 2.1, 95%CI: 1.7-2.8, P<0.001), with an attributable risk of 54.0%. sROC curve of the association between positive D-Dimer and recurrence showed a diagnostic AUC of 63.8 (95%CI: 60.3-67.4), with a pooled sensitivity of 54.3% (95%CI: 51.3%-57.3%), specificity of 64.2% (95%CI: 63.2-65.1), PLR of 1.53 (95%CI: 1.37-1.72), and NLR of 0.71 (95%CI: 0.60-0.84). Subgroup and meta-regression analyses suggested that a positive D-Dimer may have a higher discriminatory ability for patients with provoked events, confirmed by better pooled diagnostic indexes for recurrence and a diagnostic AUC of 70.6 (95%CI: 63.8-77.4). Regression models showed that the rate of OAT resumption after the evidence of D-Dimer positivity was inversely associated with VTE recurrence (Z-score: -3.91, P<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: D-Dimer positivity after OAT may identify VTE patients at higher risk of recurrence, with a better diagnostic accuracy for provoked events.