What causes disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)?

Updated: Dec 06, 2020
  • Author: Marcel M Levi, MD; Chief Editor: Srikanth Nagalla, MBBS, MS, FACP  more...
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DIC is most commonly observed in severe sepsis and septic shock. Indeed, the development and severity of DIC correlate with mortality in severe sepsis. [12, 13] Although bacteremia, including both gram-positive and gram-negative organisms, is most commonly associated with DIC, other organisms (eg, viruses, fungi, and parasites) may also cause DIC.

Trauma, especially neurotrauma, is also frequently associated with DIC. DIC is more frequently observed in trauma patients with the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS). [14] Evidence indicates that inflammatory cytokines play a central role in DIC in both trauma patients and septic patients. In fact, the systemic cytokine profiles in septic patients and trauma patients are nearly identical. [15]

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