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June 27, 1977

Lumbar Plexopathy Caused by Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation

JAMA. 1977;237(26):2846-2847. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270530054025

GENERALIZED sepsis and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) developed in a 26-year-old woman who had a long history of regional enteritis and granulomatous colitis.

During bleeding into the retroperitoneal space, which necessitated repeated blood transfusions, acute bilateral femoral and obturator neuropathy developed. The neuropathy slowly resolved during the next six months. Although femoral neuropathy and lumbar plexopathy caused by various hemorrhagic disorders have been described,1 to our knowledge, this is only the second report of neuropathy and the first of bilateral lumbar plexus involvement caused by DIC.

Report of a Case  A 26-year-old woman with a ten-year history of regional enteritis and granulomatous colitis had multiple fistulas and abscesses that required drainage. In 1974 she had had a hemicolectomy, with a colostomy stoma placed in the left upper quadrant and a long rectal pouch left in place. Medications thereafter were furosemide, 80 mg daily; corticotropin, 40 units twice weekly; atropine-diphenoxylate