Background: Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) associated with multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) plays pivotal roles in severe sepsis. Objectives: We performed a multicenter, prospective data collection study and retrospectively analyzed the data to confirm the role of DIC in severe sepsis. Methods: Eligible patients were ICU patients who met the definitions of severe sepsis, and 1013 patients were included. DIC scores as well as disease severity and the development of MODS on the day of the diagnosis of severe sepsis (day 0) and at day 3 were evaluated. The primary outcome was hospital mortality, and MODS on days 0 and 3 was the secondary outcomes. Results: The overall mortality rate of severe sepsis was 21.5%, and the prevalence of DIC was 50.9% (516/1013). DIC patients were more seriously ill and exhibited a higher prevalence of MODS (32.0% vs. 13.1%) on day 0 and worse mortality rate (24,8% vs. 17.5%) than non-DIC patients. DIC patients also showed a lower survival probability than non-DIC patients (Log rank p = 0.028). Logistic regression analyses after propensity score adjustment for potential confounders confirmed a significant association between DIC and MODS and hospital death in the patients with severe sepsis. The new development of DIC and persistent DIC from days 0 to 3 were associated with a high incidence of MODS and low survival probability. Conclusions: The mortality rate of severe sepsis has been improved; however, DIC is still associated with the poor prognosis of these patients. Evaluating the dynamic changes in the DIC status may improve the prediction capability.
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