What does purpura look like in disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) associated with sepsis/septic shock?

Updated: Oct 07, 2020
  • Author: Andre Kalil, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, FAPS, MCCM  more...
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Answer

Petechiae or purpura (see the image below) can be associated with disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). These findings are an ominous sign.

A 26-year-old woman developed rapidly progressive A 26-year-old woman developed rapidly progressive shock associated with purpura and signs of meningitis. Her blood culture results confirmed the presence of Neisseria meningitidis. The skin manifestation seen in this image is characteristic of severe meningococcal infection and is called purpura fulminans.

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