D-dimer and risk for thrombosis in adults with newly diagnosed acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Daniela R. Anderson, Wendy Stock, Theodore G. Karrison, Avi Leader*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are at increased risk of thrombotic and/or bleeding events during early chemotherapy, especially when receiving asparaginase. D-dimer is a marker of fibrinolysis that has been associated with thrombotic risk in solid cancers and acute myeloid leukemia; however, to date, no ALL-based study has assessed D-dimer level and risk for thrombosis. We sought to examine D-dimer as a biomarker for risk of thrombosis or bleeding during ALL treatment in a retrospective cohort study at The University of Chicago. We identified 61 consecutive adult patients with ALL, gathering demographic characteristics, treatment regimens, initial biomarkers including D-dimer, and assessing occurrence of venous or arterial thrombosis and bleeding in the first 100 days after diagnosis (index). The 100-day cumulative incidence (95% confidence interval [CI]) of venous or arterial thrombosis in patients with high D-dimer ($4 mg/mL) was 52.9% (95% CI, 26.4-73.8) compared with 13.8% (95% CI, 5.5-25.7) in patients with low to moderate D-dimer (,4 mg/mL), corresponding with a hazard ratio of 5.04 (95% CI, 1.79-14.22). When testing for potential confounders in a series of bivariate logistic regression models, the association between D-dimer and thrombosis remained after adjusting for body mass index, age, sex, asparaginase treatment, disseminated intravascular coagulation score, initial platelet level, and ALL phenotype. In conclusion, D-dimer levels at ALL diagnosis are associated with venous or arterial thrombosis at 100 days. Future studies should include D-dimer collated with other known risk factors to build a risk assessment model for thrombosis in patients with newly diagnosed ALL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5146-5151
Number of pages6
JournalBlood advances
Issue number17
StatePublished - 13 Sep 2022


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