What are the limitations of lab testing in the workup of 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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Most individual laboratory tests demonstrate high sensitivity for DIC but very low specificity. [54] Furthermore, whereas acute DIC typically overwhelms compensatory anticoagulation mechanisms, resulting in depletion of factors and laboratory derangements, chronic or localized DIC may produce only minimal abnormalities in laboratory tests. [55]

It is essential to keep in mind that laboratory values may represent only a momentary glimpse into a very rapidly changing systemic process and that repeated tests may therefore be necessary in order to make a more clinically certain diagnosis. [4]

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