Are there specific haemostatic abnormalities in children surviving septic shock with purpura and having skin necrosis or limb ischaemia that need skin grafts or limb amputations?

Eur J Pediatr. 1999 Feb;158(2):127-32. doi: 10.1007/s004310051032.


More than 10% of children surviving septic shock with purpura have skin necrosis or limb ischaemia (SNLI.). Among 44 children consecutively admitted to our pediatric intensive care unit, 35 (80%) survived, 6 of them (17%) developed SNLI (defined as the need of a surgical procedure). Two timed haemostasis measurements included the determination of coagulation factors, protein C (PC), protein S (PS), C4b binding protein (C4bBP), antithrombin (AT), and plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1). Two severity scores and CRP levels were determined at admission. Children with SNLI and without SNLI were compared. On admission, severity scores, and AT, PC, PS, C4bBP levels were similar in both groups with and without SNLI. Prothrombin time (23% vs 34%; P < 0.01), factor VII+X (20% vs 31%; P = 0.05) and factor VII (0% vs 19%; P < 0.01) were lower in the group with SNLI. The 2nd sample showed no difference between the two groups. Kinetics of haemostatic abnormalities were no different between the two groups.

Conclusion: In this series, the only difference between the two groups was lower factor VII levels in children with skin necrosis or limb ischaemia. This suggests the benefit of tissue factor pathway inhibitor administration as an adjunctive therapy to prevent skin necrosis or limb ischaemia. Further studies including more children are needed to determine the potential effects of treatments such as protein C, antithrombin, and plasminogen activator inhibitor antibody administration, and to advocate tissue factor pathway inhibitor in preventing skin necrosis or limb ischaemia.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Amputation*
  • Arm / blood supply*
  • Arm / surgery
  • Blood Coagulation Disorders / blood
  • Blood Coagulation Disorders / etiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Hemostasis
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Ischemia / blood
  • Ischemia / complications*
  • Ischemia / surgery
  • Leg / blood supply*
  • Leg / surgery
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Necrosis
  • Purpura / blood
  • Purpura / complications*
  • Purpura / surgery
  • Shock, Septic / blood
  • Shock, Septic / complications*
  • Shock, Septic / surgery
  • Skin / pathology*
  • Skin Transplantation*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric