Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Crit Care Med. 2000 Sep;28(9 Suppl):S9-11.

Pathophysiology of disseminated intravascular coagulation in sepsis.

Author information

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Slotervaart Hospital, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) is an acquired syndrome characterized by intravascular fibrin formation occurring in the course of a variety of severe diseases. In gram-negative sepsis, endotoxin is the bacterial component eliciting a cascade of tissue factor dependent hypercoagulable reactions mediated by cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-6. Fibrinolysis is activated in this process by the action of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, but its activity is impaired by the predominant inhibitory effect of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1. Natural inhibitory mechanisms include antithrombin, the protein C system, and tissue factor pathway inhibitor. Each of these defense systems counteracts the harmful effects of DIC, and its acquired deficiency is associated with increased mortality in observational studies. The generation of several proteases in DIC, including factor Xa and thrombin, has potential interactions with inflammatory pathways that may potentiate the systemic inflammatory syndrome that often accompanies DIC. Experimental studies support the notion that defects in the protein C pathway modulate the inflammatory response, and illustrate that coagulation and inflammation are coupled systems in DIC.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
    Loading ...
    Support Center