I was out surfing the web today and for some reason, I seem to always come back to the value of the “D-dimer” testing in the ER room to help determine if you might have a dissected ascending aorta.

I stumbled across a great article, Study shows rare good news about aortic dissection

In a study performed by an international team led by specialists at the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center, patients suspected of having AD had dramatically elevated results on the D-Dimer blood test, which is commonly used to rule out dangerous blood clots.
Combined with other blood testing, routine use of D-Dimer could help distinguish patients with an AD from those experiencing an acute heart attack. Treatments for the two conditions are totally different, and rapid diagnosis can be life-saving for AD patients.
“Because aortic dissection is a disease that’s rare and symptoms can mimic those of a heart attack, it is often overlooked or misdiagnosed,” says senior investigator Kim Eagle, M.D., co-director of the U-M Cardiovascular Center and the Albion Walter Hewlett Professor of Internal Medicine. “This test will change how we manage patients with sudden chest or back pain presenting to our emergency departments.”
As I have said many times, I believe this was the test that helped me have the best chance of survival. Granted, I had the test and it came back high for a pulmonary embolism, you still have to get the CT scan, then hope a surgeon is around that knows what he/she is doing and has a great team to help with the surgery. It’s not a short surgery-many variables are involved. But….at least you are on the right track as time is of the essence in the ER room.
OK.. back to watching more of the Australian Open!