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J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 1997 Apr;11(2):141-8.

Disseminated intravascular coagulation associated with acute ischemic hepatitis after elective aortic aneurysm repair: comparative analysis of 10 cases.

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Department of General Anesthesiology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, OH 44195, USA.



To assess the characteristics of patients with perioperative disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) and acute ischemic hepatitis after elective aortic aneurysm repair (AAR).


A retrospective case-control study.


A single tertiary referral center.


Between 1982 and 1993, 1966 patients underwent elective AAR. Of these, 10 patients (eight with abdominal and two with thoracoabdominal aneurysms) developed DIC and acute elevation of serum transaminases consistent with acute ischemic hepatitis during or shortly after surgery. The control group included 30 patients matched by age, sex, year of surgery, and aneurysm type and size.




None of the patients in either group had preoperative hemostatic abnormalities or other causes for DIC. There was no difference between the two groups in the duration of aortic cross-clamping. In all study patients, severe coagulopathy or systemic hypotension developed after the aortic cross-clamp was released. This resulted in significantly increased surgery time after unclamping (p < 0.001), and increased estimated blood loss (p < 0.001). DIC developed within 24 hours, and mean concentrations of aspartate transaminase (4,021 +/- 3,579 IU/L) and lactate dehydrogenase (4,332 +/- 2,903 IU/L) peaked on the second postoperative day. Nine (90%) of the study patients required repeat operations (seven for bleeding), and all of them died; the median survival time was 6 days (mean, 8.3 +/- 8.2 days). Only one patient in the control group needed a repeat operation. Liver infarction or necrosis was seen in all seven patients who underwent autopsy or biopsy.


The combination of DIC and acute ischemic hepatitis ("hepatohemorrhagic syndrome") rarely occurs after elective AAR and is associated with a very high mortality rate. DIC was temporally related to the release of the aortic cross-clamp. The cause-effect relationship of this rare syndrome cannot be explained by operative course before the release of the aortic cross-clamp.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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