• DIC;
  • diagnostic criteria;
  • global coagulation test;
  • International Society of Thrombosis and Hemostasis (ISTH);
  • Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare (JMHW)


We compared the criteria set by the International Society of Thrombosis and Hemostasis (ISTH) for the diagnosis of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) with the criteria of the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare (JMHW) set for the diagnosis of overt DIC. We studied 1,284 Japanese patients with DIC. The rate of agreement in the diagnosis of DIC by the two diagnostic systems was 67.4%. In addition, only 2.0% of non-DIC patients by JMHW criteria were diagnosed with overt DIC by ISTH criteria, suggesting that ISTH for overt DIC includes typical cases of DIC. The concordance of diagnosis for DIC by ISTH and JMHW was significantly high in patients with trauma or acute promyelocytic leukemia. About 70% of DIC or overt DIC patients had more than 1 point in the scoring system for prothrombin time, but >50% of those patients had 0 point for plasma fibrinogen level. Abnormal fibrin and fibrinogen degradation product (FDP) levels and platelet counts were observed in >88% of DIC and overt DIC patients but were observed in >50% of non-DIC patients, indicating that these parameters are sensitive markers but not specific markers for the diagnosis of DIC. Considered together, our results suggest that the diagnostic criteria for DIC and overt DIC could be improved by changing the cut-off values of the global coagulation tests. Am. J. Hematol. 74:17–22, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.