Background: Trauma-induced coagulopathy (TIC) may progress to disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) due to dysregulated inflammatory and coagulofibrinolytic responses to trauma. Objectives: We explored how DIC and TIC elicit the same coagulofibrinolytic changes which lead to massive transfusion. Methods: Severely injured trauma patients with an injury severity score ≥ 16 were prospectively included. Platelet counts, global markers of coagulation and fibrinolysis and specific markers of thrombin and plasmin generation, anticoagulation, endothelial injury, and inhibition of fibrinolysis were measured at presentation to the emergency department (0 hour) and 3 hour after arrival. The patients were subdivided into those with and without DIC and those with and without TIC using the 0-hour data. Time courses of specific markers and the frequency of massive transfusion were evaluated. The association of various variables with DIC development was also confirmed. Results: Two hundred and seventy-six patients were eligible for the analyses. The severity of injury (odds ratio; 1.038, P =.022) and thrombin generation (odds ratio; 1.014, P =.024) were associated with the development of DIC. Both DIC and TIC patients showed increased thrombin generation, insufficient anticoagulation controls, endothelial injury and increased fibrinolysis followed by elevated plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 levels at 0 and 3 hours. The frequency of massive transfusion was higher in both DIC (33.6% vs 7.9%, P <.001) and TIC (50.0% vs 13.3%, P <.001) patients than in those without DIC or TIC, respectively. Conclusions: Disseminated intravascular coagulation and TIC evoked the same coagulofibrinolytic responses in severely injured trauma patients immediately after trauma and needed massive transfusion.
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