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Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the upper extremities caused by a peripherally inserted central venous catheter (PICC) is distinct from the typical DVT. This specific type of mural thrombus might have an effect on the D-dimer levels. In the present study, we aimed to ascertain whether the D-dimer level might be considered an independent diagnostic marker to rule out upper extremity DVT caused by PICCs. We performed a retrospective case-cohort study of 205 patients who had undergone D-dimer measurement and color Doppler ultrasound within 14 days after placement of a PICC to December 31, 2020, from January 1, 2018. The participants were followed up for 3 months to evaluate for upper extremity DVT. In addition, different D-dimer diagnostic strategies were analyzed. Of the 205 included patients, 53 (25.9%) had had a negative D-dimer level. Of the 53 patients, 10 had had upper extremity DVT attributable to a PICC using color Doppler ultrasound. Of these 10 patients, 3 had developed upper extremity DVT during the 3-month follow-up. Using the various D-dimer diagnostic techniques, the negative predictive value for the D-dimer levels was 81.1%. The present study has shown that the different D-dimer diagnostic strategies are not effective for safely excluding the diagnosis of suspected PICC-related upper extremity DVT. Adding PICC placement as a special factor in the modified Wells score, in addition to the D-dimer level, could securely rule out PICC-related upper extremity DVT; however, the diagnostic efficacy was low. Copyright © 2023 Society for Vascular Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Wanli Liu, Lianxiang He, Jianhui Zhou, Wenjing Zeng, Shuangshuang Zeng, Zhicheng Gong. Different diagnostic strategies using D-dimer for peripherally inserted central catheter-related upper extremity deep vein thrombosis. Journal of vascular surgery. Venous and lymphatic disorders. 2023 May;11(3):565-572

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PMID: 36681296

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