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Keywords:

  • disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC);
  • canine;
  • hemostatic function;
  • diagnosis

Summary

Diagnosis of Disseminated Intravascular coagulation (DIC) is controversial in both human and veterinary medicine. This article reviews the available literature in human and veterinary medicine regarding the etiology, pathophysiology, and diagnosis of DIC with emphasis on the diagnosis of DIC in dogs. Controversy surrounding the diagnosis of DIC arises from the complex nature of the disease itself, in addition to the absence of a consensus strategy for laboratory testing. The available literature indicates that dogs diagnosed with DIC possessed various hemostatic function testing abnormalities, typically possessed an underlying disease that predisposed to DIC, but may or may not have had clinically identifiable hemorrhage or thrombosis. Additionally, the hemostatic function testing utilized in diagnosis is not uniform. Generalizations about the usefulness of individual assays or diagnostic strategies cannot be formulated because of the marked diversity of the types of cases studied, as well as the small number of cases reported in the literature. (Vet Emerg & Crit Care, 1998; 8: 29–45)