Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) or consumptive coagulopathy, is a pathological activation of coagulation that happens in response to a variety of diseases. DIC leads to the formation of small blood clots inside the blood vessels throughout the body.As the small clots consume coagulation proteins and platelets, normal coagulation is disrupted and abnormal bleeding occurs from the skin,the gastrointestinal tract, the respiratory tract and surgical wounds.The small clots also disrupt normal blood flow to organs , which may malfunction as a result.

DIC can occur in the following conditions:
    Cancers of lung, pancreas, prostate and stomach, as well as acute myeloid leukemia (particularly APML)
    Obstetric: abruptio placentae, pre-eclampsia, amniotic fluid embolism
    Massive tissue injury: Trauma, burns, extensive surgery
    Infections: Gram-negative sepsis, Neisseria meningitidis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, malaria, histoplasmosis, aspergillosis, Rocky mountain spotted fever
    Miscellaneous: Liver disease, snake bite, giant hemangioma, shock, heat stroke, vasculitis, aortic aneurysm, Serotonin syndrome    
Viral: Arenaviruses causing Argentine hemorrhagic fever or Bolivian Hemorrhagic Fever
Diagnosis is usually suggested by following conditions:
Severe cases with hemorrhage: The PT and APTT are usually very prolonged and the fibrinogen level markedly reduced. High levels of fibrin degradation products, including D-dimer, are found owing to the intense fibrinolytic activity stimulated by the presence of fibrin in the circulation. There is severe thrombocytopenia. The blood film may show fragmented red blood cells.
The only effective treatment is the reversal of the underlying cause. Anticoagulants are given exceedingly rarely when thrombus formation is likely to lead to imminent death. Platelets may be transfused if counts are less than 5,000-10,000/mm3 and massive hemorrhage is occurring, and fresh frozen plasma may be administered in an attempt to replenish coagulation factors and anti-thrombotic factors, although these are only temporizing measures and may result in the increased development of thrombosis.


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