Last updated: Saturday, 27, November, 2010

Disseminated intravascular coagulation or defibrination syndrome.

CausesAppropriate Tests

FBC, blood film, platelet count; thrombin time, fibrin degradation products, fibrinogen assay to establish diagnosis. Platelet count, APTT, PT, PT/INR, fibrinogen assay to monitor course and therapy.

NB. The quantitative (latex) D-diner test is used for detection of fibrin degradation products. Its use and interpretation must be differentiated from the sensitive qualititive D-diner used in evaluation of a possible DVT or PE.

Acute severe DIC

Obstetric syndromes

See Peripartum bleeding under Pregnancy.

Septicaemia, especially 

  • Gram-negative bacteria eg
    • Escherichia coli
    • Neisseria meningitidis
    • Dengue fever

Massive trauma

Acute promyelocytic leukaemia

See Acute leukaemia.

Acute intravascular haemolysis, especially

  • ABO-incompatible transfusion


See Immediate haemolytic reactions under Blood transfusion - transfusion reactions.

Prostate surgery


Snake bite

Sub-acute/chronic DICSee also Microangiopathic haemolysis.

Advanced/metastatic carcinoma, especially 

  • Mucinous adenocarcinoma
  • Severe/advanced liver disease
Presence of DIC can often be predicted from the clinical context; confirmatory tests may not be required.

Retained dead fetus

Monitoring is important (platelet count, FDP, fibrinogen assay) until fetus delivered, as acute and severe DIC may develop.

Haemangiomas (glant)