In patients with liver cirrhosis, especially in the advanced stage, the coexistence of low clotting factor levels, hypofibrinogenemia, thrombocytopenia and elevated fibrin(ogen) degradation product (FDP) and D-dimer levels may suggest the presence of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). In this study we evaluated, in 21 patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis and elevated FDP and D-dimer levels, the time sequence of their coagulation data during a follow-up period of 15 days after the first observation; our aim was to clarify if these patients tend to develop during this time interval a severe consumption coagulopathy as an expression of overt DIC. We evaluated serum fibrinogen, platelet count, prothrombin activity, serum FDP and plasma D-dimer levels at days 1, 3, 6, 10 and 15. The coagulation data were fairly stable during the study period in all patients, even in the two patients who had upper digestive tract bleeding during the study time. Only two patients affected by infectious diseases showed a decrease of D-dimer and FDP levels after healing. Our data suggest that in decompensated liver cirrhosis the detection of elevated FDP and D-dimer levels is seldom related to the occurrence of an overt DIC, at least during a short time interval; in this condition heparin therapy seems therefore not advisable and even potentially dangerous.
Time sequence of coagulation data in patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis and suspected disseminated intravascular coagulation / G., Cioni; A., Cristani; E., Tincani; Ventura, Paolo; G., Zagni; E., Ventura. - In: LA RICERCA IN CLINICA E IN LABORATORIO. - ISSN 0390-5748. - STAMPA. - 21:(1991), pp. 105-109.