Cost associated with D-Dimer screening for acute aortic dissection.

Abstract:

INTRODUCTION:D-Dimer (DD) has been described as a useful predictor of both morphologic changes in acute thoracic aortic dissection (TAD) and of TAD-associated mortality. This study analyzed the use of DD screening to screen patients with chest pain for acute (TAD) to determine if it improves diagnosis and cost effectiveness. This study also looked at the association of DD levels with diagnoses frequently seen in patients with dyspnea or chest pain. METHODS:At the Helios Hospital, Krefeld, the authors analyzed the data of all patients (n = 1053, age (mean, SD) 62 ± 19 years, 49% males) admitted for chest pain to the nonsurgical emergency department (ED) in February 2010. Chest pain was the second most frequent symptom causing 138 (13.1%) admissions, 102 of which had DD testing (Inniovance® D-Dimer Assay, Dade Behring/Siemens, Germany). To assess the diagnostic reliability of DD testing, the sensitivity, specificity, and odds ratio, including 95% confidence interval, were estimated. RESULTS:None of the patients admitted were found to have acute TAD. Had the authors used a computerized tomography (CT) scan to rule out TAD in every patient with chest pain, actual costs would have been euro 12,328. A restriction of CT scans to patients with elevated DD levels would have lowered costs to euro 5360. The actual costs were euro 670.30 for CT scans and euro 540.60 for DD tests. On analyzing the association with other diagnoses, both sensitivity and specificity were low, with the exception of pneumonia. CONCLUSION:Owing to the low incidence of TAD, DD screening increases diagnostic efforts and costs but it remains unclear whether it would actually speed up TAD diagnosis. In a clinical setting DD did not help to discriminate other relevant diagnoses. Despite the high sensitivity of DD for aortic dissection published in the literature, the physician's clinical judgment remains paramount.

journal_name

Adv Ther

journal_title

Advances in therapy

authors

Moysidis T,Lohmann M,Lutkewitz S,Kemmeries G,Kröger K

doi

10.1007/s12325-011-0069-2

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2011-11-01 00:00:00

pages

1038-44

issue

11

eissn

0741-238X

issn

1865-8652

journal_volume

28

pub_type

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