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Potentially life-threatening emergency
Disseminated intravascular coagulation in Child
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed
Potentially life-threatening emergency

Disseminated intravascular coagulation in Child

Contributors: Sarah Stein MD, Karen Wiss MD, Sheila Galbraith MD, Craig N. Burkhart MD, Dean Morrell MD, Lynn Garfunkel MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) occurs secondary to a variety of far ranging disorders including severe trauma, infection, malignancies (especially leukemia in the pediatric population), severe snakebite reaction, and vascular lesions (kaposiform hemangioendotheliomas, tufted angiomas). The Kasabach-Merritt syndrome is a particular form of DIC where there is consumption of platelets and clotting factors within a kaposiform hemangioendothelioma or tufted angioma.

DIC occurs when there is intravenous coagulation in association with consumption of platelets. Hemolytic anemia and thromboembolism secondary to intravascular coagulation occurs.

The symptoms of DIC can be mild to severe. The onset can be subacute or sudden with associated high fever and development of purpura.

In severe cases, fatality can occur within 2 days.


D65 – Disseminated intravascular coagulation [defibrination syndrome]

67406007 – Disseminated intravascular coagulation

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Warfarin necrosis
  • Heparin necrosis
  • Recluse spider envenomation
  • Acute meningococcemia
  • Necrotizing fasciitis
  • Large vessel Vasculitis
  • Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura
  • Idiopathic Purpura fulminans
  • Traumatic purpura
  • Primary bone marrow failure – such as an infiltrative process or leukemia
  • Primary fibrinolysis
  • Coagulation factor deficiency syndrome 

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Management Pearls

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Drug Reaction Data

Below is a list of drugs with literature evidence indicating an adverse association with this diagnosis. The list is continually updated through ongoing research and new medication approvals. Click on Citations to sort by number of citations or click on Medication to sort the medications alphabetically.

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Last Reviewed:02/15/2017
Last Updated:02/15/2017
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Potentially life-threatening emergency
Disseminated intravascular coagulation in Child
A medical illustration showing key findings of Disseminated intravascular coagulation (Acute) : Fibrinogen decreased, Gangrene, Mottled configuration, Ecchymosis, FSP increased, PT prolonged, HR increased, BP decreased, PLT decreased
Clinical image of Disseminated intravascular coagulation - imageId=184015. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'Retiform purpura on the thigh.'
Retiform purpura on the thigh.
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.