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Crit Care Med. 1989 Aug;17(8):724-33.

Coagulation, fibrinolysis, and kallikrein systems in sepsis: relation to outcome.

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Department of Anesthesiology, University Hospital, Linköping, Sweden.


Fatal multiple organ failure after severe infection may be related to an early activation of protease cascade systems. This study aimed to relate changes in coagulation, fibrinolysis, and kallikrein to shock and outcome. Of 53 patients with severe infection, 30 did not develop shock, 12 survived septic shock, and 11 died from organ failure after septic shock. No patient had overt disseminated intravascular coagulation. We measured 17 components of the coagulation/fibrinolysis/kallikrein pathways on admission and on the next 2 days. High values for fibrinogen, factor VIII:C, von Willebrand factor antigen, and D-dimer were seen in all patients; factor XII, prekallikrein, factor VII, antithrombin, protein C, and fibronectin were low. The patients thus appeared to be hypercoagulable. These disturbances were more pronounced in septic shock survivors, who also had low plasminogen and antiplasmin, indicating ongoing fibrinolysis. Nonsurvivors of sepsis were distinguished mainly by high plasminogen activator inhibitor values; this suggests an impaired functional fibrinolysis in fatal sepsis, with possible therapeutic implications. Cryoprecipitate infusion increased the fibronectin concentration, but did not influence the other factors studied.

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