Prospective diagnostic accuracy assessment of the HemosIL HS D-dimer to exclude pulmonary embolism in emergency department patients

D. Mark Courtney*, Justin M. Steinberg, Jennifer C. McCormick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Introduction: Chest pain and shortness of breath are among the most common symptoms requiring immediate evaluation. Testing for pulmonary embolism (PE) has become easier and widespread due to D-dimer blood tests. Safe use of these tests is only possible if sensitivity is high and they are used in non-high probability patients. We evaluated diagnostic performance of the HemosIL HS D-dimer, which despite FDA approval in 2005, has been minimally reported in prospective standard clinical care. Materials and methods: We used a prospective observational study design to follow patients in a single center with the HemosIL HS ordered for symptoms of possible PE with positive test result if > 243 ng/ml. The outcome was PE or deep venous thrombosis (DVT) at the time of presentation or subsequent 45 days determined by structured evaluation of imaging tests, phone, or medical record follow-up in all patients. Results: 529 patients received a D-dimer and 4.7% were ultimately diagnosed with PE or DVT. The sensitivity of the HemosIL HS was 96.0% (95% CI; 79.6 to 99.9%) specificity was 65.7% (95% CI; 61.4 to 69.8%) and likelihood ratio negative was 0.06 (95% CI; 0.01 to 0.42). The probability of PE in patients with a negative D-dimer was 1/332 or 0.3% (95% CI; 0.01% to 1.67%). The receiver operator curve had an area under the curve of 0.87 and supported the current cut-point as optimal. Conclusions: The HemosIL HS D-dimer had high sensitivity, very low negative post-test probability and is useful in excluding PE in the acute care setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-83
Number of pages5
JournalThrombosis research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • Accuracy
  • D-dimer
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Sensitivity
  • Specificity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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