Laboratory biomarkers for venous thromboembolism risk in patients with hematologic malignancies: A review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Introduction: Despite high rates of venous thromboembolism (VTE) among patients with hematologic malignancies, few tools exist to assist providers in identifying those patients at highest risk for this potentially fatal complication. Laboratory biomarkers, such as d-dimer, have demonstrated utility in some clinical settings to distinguish patients at increased risk. Materials and methods: We performed a systematic review of the literature utilizing search terms including “biomarker”, “venous thromboembolism”, “hematologic malignancy”, “lymphoma”, “myeloma” and “leukemia” in the Medline database. A total of 25 studies investigating laboratory biomarkers of increased thrombotic risk in the setting of hematologic malignancy were identified and included in this review. Results and conclusions: The most studied biomarkers, d-dimer and fibrinogen, demonstrated some degree of efficacy in identifying high-risk patients at levels >4.0 mg/L or <1.0 g/L respectively. Additional markers which demonstrated promise included thrombin generation, mean platelet volume, soluble VEGF, soluble P-selectin and extracellular vesicles. Other biomarkers reviewed, which did not consistently demonstrate significant associations with VTE included prothrombin fragments F1 + 2, factor VIII, protein C, protein S, von Willebrand antigen and activity, antithrombin, thrombin antithrombin complex, antiphospholopid antibody, plasminogen activator inhibitor, tissue factor pathway inhibitor and several variants associated with known hypercoagulable states (factor V Leiden, prothrombin gene variant, methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase variant). Data to support any of the biomarkers discussed here in routine clinical decision-making are currently lacking, but additional investigation in clinical studies, ideally in combination with clinical factors known to be associated with increased thrombotic risk, is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-145
Number of pages8
JournalThrombosis research
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Biomarker
  • D-dimer
  • Fibrinogen
  • Hematologic malignancy
  • Hematologic neoplasm
  • Venous thromboembolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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