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Incidence of pulmonary thromboembolism, infarction and haemorrhage in disseminated intravascular coagulation: a necroscopic analysis.
  1. Y Katsumura,
  2. K Ohtsubo
  1. Department of Respiratory Medicine, Showa University Fujigaoka Hospital, Yokohama City, Japan.


    BACKGROUND--The pathological features of the lung in disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) have not been established. This study was carried out on lungs taken at necropsy to examine the incidence and extent of thromboembolism, infarction, and haemorrhage. METHODS--The subjects were 87 patients whose illnesses were complicated by DIC and 64 patients who showed no abnormalities of blood coagulation in their terminal illness. The lungs were fixed by intrabronchial infusion of 10% formalin, cut into 5 mm thick slices, and each cut surface was carefully examined for macroscopic thromboembolism, infarction, and haemorrhage. Five tissue blocks per case were taken for quantitative analysis of microscopic thromboembolism. RESULTS--In the control group macroscopic thromboembolism was identified in 20 cases (31.3%), infarction in one, and haemorrhage also in one. Moreover, fibrin thrombosis was seen in 13 cases (20.3%) and microthromboembolism in 24 (37.5%). Of the 87 patients with DIC, thromboembolism was found in 51 cases (58.6%), infarction in six, haemorrhage in 14, microscopic fibrin thrombosis in 43 (49.4%), and microthromboembolism in 45 (51.7%). Macroscopic thromboembolism, haemorrhage, and fibrin thrombosis were found more often in the patients with DIC. CONCLUSIONS--In addition to fibrin thrombosis, macroscopic thromboembolism and haemorrhage were the main pathological findings in the lungs of patients dying with DIC. The frequency of pulmonary infarction increased in proportion to the frequency of thromboembolism.

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