Date: 28 Feb 2009

Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC) in Cancer

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Venous thromboembolism (VTE) and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) are important complications of cancer. The relationship was recognized as early as 1800 when Professor Armand Trousseau noted that patients with idiopathic VTE frequently harbor an occult cancer [1, 2]. Prandoni reported a 7.6% incidence of cancer in 145 patients following idiopathic VTE [3]. In 2000, Schulman reported that 13% of patients in his study developed cancer after their initial diagnosis of primary VTE [4]. We reported that 26.2% of veteran patients were diagnosed to have cancer within 6 months after initial VTE as compared to 11.5% of the control group [5]. These studies emphasize that there is an intimate relation between VTE and cancer.