Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) is a syndrome characterized
by the systemic activation of blood coagulation which can lead to
thrombosis of small- and medium-sized vessels and eventually organ
dysfunction. In addition, the consumption of platelets and coagulation
factors may predispose patients with DIC to bleeding events.
DIC is diagnosed by clinical signs and symptoms, laboratory tests, and
the combination of clinical and laboratory parameters into diagnostic
scores. Non-overt DIC would represent subtle haemostatic dysfunction
while overt DIC represents its decompensated phase.
The cornerstone of the management of DIC remains the treatment of the
underlying condition triggering the coagulopathy. However, additional
treatment aiming at the coagulation abnormalities may be required.
In general, the diagnostic and therapeutic approach to patients with DIC remains difficult.