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November 1983

Preoperative Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation Associated With Aortic Aneurysms: A Prospective Study of 76 Cases

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Drs Fisher and Crawford) and Pathology (Dr Yawn), Baylor College of Medicine, and the Methodist Hospital, Houston. Dr Fisher is now with the Department of Surgery, University of Texas—Southwestern Medical School, Dallas.

Arch Surg. 1983;118(11):1252-1255. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1983.01390110010002

• A prospective study of 76 preoperative patients with aortic aneurysms was undertaken to determine the true incidence of associated disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). Although 39% of the patients showed a notable elevation of the fibrin split products level, only three had thrombocytopenia and a clinical bleeding diathesis, as well. Thus, clinically overt DIC occurred preoperatively in only 4% of the patients. All three patients had extensive aneurysms that involved the thoracoabdominal aorta. Preoperative fibrinogen levels in this series tended to be high-normal or elevated and were not good indicators of underlying excessive fibrinolysis. Hemostatic abnormalities, such as ecchymoses and petechiae, may be the key to the clinical diagnosis of DIC in preoperative patients with aortic aneurysms.

(Arch Surg 1983;118:1252-1255)

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