D-Dimer is a fibrin degradation product – during fibrinolysis, plasmin breaks down fibrin and fibrinogen and a variety of cross-linked fibrin degradation products are produced. D-dimer is the smallest of these fibrin degradation products and it is a sensitive, but non-specific marker of fibrin formation and fibrinolysis that occurs with the formation of blood clots. Elevated serum D-Dimer levels indicate recent or ongoing fibrinolysis and is used to monitor patients for disseminated intravascular coagulation or other life-threatening thrombotic conditions like a pulmonary embolism. Levels of D-dimer can be measured quantitively using a two-site sandwich ELISA or CLIA assay.
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