Which physical findings suggest disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) and what is the presentation of chronic or subacute DIC?

Updated: Dec 06, 2020
  • Author: Marcel M Levi, MD; Chief Editor: Srikanth Nagalla, MBBS, MS, FACP  more...
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With acute DIC, the physical findings are usually those of the underlying or inciting condition; however, patients with the acute disease (ie, the hemorrhagic variety associated with excess plasmin formation) have petechiae on the soft palate, trunk, and extremities from thrombocytopenia and ecchymosis at venipuncture sites. These patients also manifest ecchymosis in traumatized areas.

In patients with so-called chronic or subacute DIC, of which the primary manifestation is thrombosis from excess thrombin formation, the signs of venous thromboembolism may be present.

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