D-dimer, a soluble fibrin degradation product that originates from plasmin-induced degradation of cross-linked fibrin, is an important biomarker of coagulation activation and secondary fibrinolysis that is routinely used to rule out venous thromboembolism (VTE), to evaluate the risk of VTE recurrence as well as the optimal duration of anticoagulant therapy. Besides VTE, D-dimer may be high due to physiologic conditions, including aging, pregnancy and strenuous physical activity. In addition, several disorders have been associated with increased D-dimer levels, spanning from disseminated intravascular coagulation to infectious diseases and cancers. Thus, it is far from unusual for hematologists to have to deal with ambulatory individuals presenting with increased Ddimer without signs or symptoms of thrombus formation. To the management of these cases by the hematologist is dedicated this narrative review.
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