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J Reprod Med. 1977 Oct;19(4):223-32.

Disseminated intravascular coagulation in pregnancy.


The DIC syndrome is the most common cause of an abnormal hemorrhage tendency during pregnancy and the puerperium and reflects systemic activation of the coagulation cascade by circulating thromboplastic material, with secondary activation of the fibrinolytic system. Its presence in a pregnant patient almost invariably is evidence of an underlying obstetric disorder such as abruptio placentae, eclampsia, retention of a dead fetus, amniotic fluid embolism, placental retention or bacterial sepsis. Diagnosis of the DIC syndrome rests on the demonstration of reduced levels of fibrinogen and platelets, prolongation of the thrombin, prothrombin and partial thromboplastin times, and the presence of fibrin/fibrinogen degradation products (FDP) in the serum. Therapy consists of prompt removal of the source of procoagulant material, replacement of depleted clotting factors and, in some cases, anti-coagulation with heparin.

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