Diagnosis of disseminated intravascular coagulation
Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) is a syndrome characterized by systemic intravascular activation of coagulation, leading to widespread deposition of fibrin in the circulation. In recent years, the pathogenetic pathways leading to DIC have been largely identified, which could result in more precise diagnostic tests for this disorder. However, the clinical and laboratory diagnosis of DIC may remain difficult, since routinely available tests do not specifically assess ongoing thrombin generation. Molecular markers for activation of coagulation and fibrinogen to fibrin conversion are highly sensitive but also disappointedly aspecific for the diagnosis of DIC. Moreover, these tests are often not available in most settings for daily clinical care. A combination of widely available tests, however, may be helpful in making the diagnosis of DIC, according to a recently developed algorithm.