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Pathogenesis and etiology of disseminated intravascular coagulation


Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), also called consumption coagulopathy and defibrination syndrome, is a systemic process producing both thrombosis and hemorrhage. It is initiated by a number of defined disorders and consists of several components, including exposure of blood to procoagulants, formation of fibrin in the circulation, fibrinolysis, depletion of clotting factors, and end-organ damage. Treatment is best directed at correcting the underlying cause.

The pathogenesis and etiology of DIC will be reviewed here. The clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and treatment of DIC are discussed separately. (See "Clinical features, diagnosis, and treatment of disseminated intravascular coagulation in adults".)


Overview of pathogenesis — The pathogenesis of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) is primarily due to an uncontrolled and excessive production of thrombin, leading to widespread and systemic intravascular fibrin deposition (figure 1) [1].

DIC is initiated by a number of disorders, and it consists of the following components:

Exposure of blood to procoagulants


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Literature review current through: Sep 2014. | This topic last updated: Mar 24, 2014.
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