Disseminated intravascular coagulation: clinical and laboratory aspects

Am J Hematol. 1998 Sep;59(1):65-73. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1096-8652(199809)59:1<65::aid-ajh13>3.0.co;2-0.


Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) is a complex acquired coagulopathy resulting from excessive thrombin formation. Abnormal tissue factor (TF) expression is a major mechanism initiating DIC in many disorders, including obstetrical complications, sepsis, cancer, and trauma. Numerous laboratory tests are available to monitor DIC, but most patients are adequately managed using only routine hemostasis screening tests, and assays for fibrinogen and D-dimer. Treatment of DIC should focus on reversing the underlying disorder initiating the coagulopathy. Novel treatments are being investigated for treating DIC; many of these experimental modalities target the excessive TF activity that characterizes DIC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation / blood*
  • Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation / physiopathology
  • Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation / therapy*
  • Humans