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Elevation in D-dimer concentrations is positively correlated with gestation in normal uncomplicated pregnancy

Authors Jeremiah, Adias T, Opiah, George SP, Mgbere, Essien EJ 

Received 5 April 2012

Accepted for publication 10 May 2012

Published 31 August 2012 Volume 2012:4 Pages 437—443


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Zaccheaus A Jeremiah,1 Teddy C Adias,2 Margaret Opiah,3 Siyeoforiye P George,4 Osaro Mgbere,5 Ekere J Essien6

1Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Nigeria; 2Bayelsa State College of Health Technology, Ogbia-Town, Nigeria; 3Department of Maternal and Child Health, Faculty of Nursing, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Nigeria; 4Postgraduate Hematology Unit, Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, Nigeria; 5Houston Department of Health and Human Services, Houston, TX, USA; 6Institute of Community Health, University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA

Background: D-dimer levels have been reported to increase progressively during pregnancy, but how this affects Nigerian women is not well known.
Objective: This study aims to determine the D-dimer concentration and its relationship to other coagulation parameters among pregnant women in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Method: In a cross-sectional observational study conducted in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, 120 pregnant women and 60 nonpregnant controls, drawn from a tertiary health institution in the Niger Delta, Nigeria, were assessed, using the standard procedures, for the following parameters: D-dimer concentration, prothrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time, platelet count, hemoglobin, and packed cell volume.
Results: The median D-dimer concentration of 153.1 ng/mL in the pregnant group was found to be significantly elevated when compared with the control value of 118.5 ng/mL (t = 2.348, P = 0.021). Conversely, there was a marked depression in the platelet count among pregnant women (193.5 × 109/L) when compared with 229.0 × 109/L in the control group (t = 3.424; P = 0.001). There was no statistically significant difference in the values for the prothrombin time and the activated partial thromboplastin time between pregnant and nonpregnant women. D-dimer values correlated positively and significantly with gestation (r = 0.36; P < 0.01) and negatively with international normalized ratio values (r = –0.281; P < 0.05). About 63.3% of the pregnant women had normal D-dimer values (0–200 ng/mL), 26.7% of the pregnant women had elevated D-dimer levels (201–499 ng/mL), while 10.0% of the pregnant women were found to be at risk of thrombosis (D-dimer > 500 ng/mL). A linear relationship was found to exist between D-dimer and gestation (y = 8.355x + 36.55; R2 = 0.130; P < 0.005).
Conclusion: 10% of the pregnant women in this population had elevated D-dimer levels over 500 ng/mL, and through comparison with what has been reported in the literature, there is the possibility that this group may be at risk of thrombosis. Further studies, incorporating other diagnostic parameters, may be needed before a more logical conclusion can be drawn, since the D-dimer is not a specific test.

Keywords: D-dimer, prothrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time, pregnancy, Nigeria

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