, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 373-378

Plasma D-dimer level in patients with colorectal cancer: Its role as a tumor marker

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The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between the preoperative plasma D-dimer (DD) levels and the tumor pathology of colorectal cancer. The plasma DD levels were measured preoperatively in 108 patients with colorectal cancer, and then were correlated with the tumor pathology and stage. The diagnostic value of the DD levels for the tumor stage was then compared with that of the preoperative carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) levels. The preoperative DD levels were higher in patients with either a large-sized tumor or a tumor showing deep wall penetration. Lymph-node metastasis, lymphatic invasion, hepatic metastasis, and peritoneal dissemination were all associated with higher DD levels. A stepwise increase in the median DD level was found with the tumor stage. The preoperative DD levels also significantly correlated with CEA levels. When a cutoff value of 0.6μ/ml was used in the DD assay, the sensitivity and specificity for Dukes C or D cancer were 67.2% and 64.0%, and those for Dukes D cancer were 91.3% and 57.6%, respectively. Although the DD assay was less specific, its diagnostic value in the preoperative staging of colorectal cancer was comparable to that of the CEA assay. The measurement of the preoperative DD level is thus considered to be useful for the preoperative staging of colorectal cancer.