Disseminated intravascular coagulation Etiology and Epidemiology

Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) is a systemic thrombohemorrhagic disorder characterized by an increased propensity for clot formation secondary to a wide variety of clinical conditions (Table 67-8). Central to the etiology of DIC is excessive and unregulated generation of thrombin, leading to an aggressive compensatory fibrinolysis. Therefore, clinical manifestations of DIC result from a loss of balance between the clot-promoting (leading to thrombosis) and the clot-lysing (leading to hemorrhage) systems. Although this balance may tip in either direction, presenting as bleeding or clotting, bleeding is most common. Incidence of bleeding, end-organ dysfunction, and other manifestations depends on the etiology of DIC.2

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