Levi M. Ten Cate H., Disseminated intravascular coagulation. New England Journal of Medicine. 341(8):586-92, 1999.
Disseminated intravascular coagulation is characterized by the widespread activation of coagulation, which results in the intravascular formation of fibrin and ultimately thrombotic occlusion of small and midsize vessels. Intravascular coagulation can also compromise the blood supply to organs and, in conjunction with hemodynamic and metabolic derangements, may contribute to the failure of multiple organs. At the same time, the use and subsequent depletion of platelets and coagulation proteins resulting from the ongoing coagulation may induce severe bleeding. Bleeding may be the presenting symptom in a patient with disseminated intravascular coagulation, a factor that can complicate decisions about treatment. The authors review updated issues regarding DIC.