Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Crit Care Med. 2001 Jul;29(7 Suppl):S90-4.

Rationale for restoration of physiological anticoagulant pathways in patients with sepsis and disseminated intravascular coagulation.

Author information

  • 1Department of Vascular Medicine, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



In the pathogenesis of disseminated intravascular coagulation, dysfunctional natural anticoagulant pathways appear to play a pivotal role. In this article, we will address the mechanisms that contribute to this defect in the regulation of coagulation activation. Furthermore, we will explore the experimental and clinical evidence that restoration of these anticoagulant pathways results in clinical improvement.


We have searched and reviewed published articles on experimental studies of disseminated intravascular coagulation models in animals and clinical studies in patients with disseminated intravascular coagulation.


All three major anticoagulant pathways, that is, the antithrombin pathway, the protein C system, and tissue factor pathway inhibitor, are defective in sepsis and disseminated intravascular coagulation. Several mechanisms contribute to this defect. Restoration of these pathways, in principle, by administration of coagulation inhibitor concentrates or recombinant anticoagulant factors, appears to ameliorate the coagulation disorder and, more important, result in improvement of clinically relevant outcomes, such as a reduction of organ failure and mortality.


Restoration of disrupted physiologic anticoagulant pathways in disseminated intravascular coagulation is not only a logical point of impact in patients with sepsis and an activated coagulation system, but also is associated with an improved outcome in experimental and (initial) clinical studies.

[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