Comparison of five different disseminated intravascular coagulation criteria in predicting mortality in patients with sepsis

Amara Zafar, Filza Naeem, Muhammad Zain Khalid, Safia Awan, Muhammad Mehmood Riaz, Saad Bin Zafar Mahmood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective Even though patients with sepsis and DIC have a higher mortality rate compared to those without DIC, screening for DIC is not currently part of sepsis management protocols. This may be due to a lack of literature on the frequency of DIC occurrence in sepsis patients, as well as the absence of evidence on the optimal DIC criteria to use for identifying DIC and predicting mortality among the five criteria available. To address this gap, this study investigates the predictive value of five different criteria for diagnosing DIC and its relationship to patient outcomes in our population of sepsis patients. Methods In the Medicine department of Aga Khan University Hospital, a retrospective observational study was conducted, enrolling all adult patients with International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) coding of sepsis and clinical suspicion of DIC between January 2018 and December 2020. To diagnose DIC, five different criteria were utilized, namely the International Society of Thrombosis and Hemostasis (ISTH), the Korean Society on Thrombosis and Hemostasis (KSTH), the Japanese Association for Acute Medicine (JAAM), the revised-JAAM (RJAAM), and the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare (JMHW). The study analyzed the sensitivity, specificity, negative predictive value, positive predictive value, and accuracy of these five criteria, as well as the overall prediction of mortality. Results Of 222 septic patients included in this study with clinical suspicion of DIC, 94.6% of patient had DIC according to KSTH criteria, followed by JAAM (69.4%), ISTH (64.0%), JMHW (53.2%) and lastly R-JAAM (48.6%). KSTH had sensitivity of 95.4% in diagnosing DIC and predicting mortality with a positive predictive value of 70% but specificity of 7.3% only. JAAM had sensitivity of 75.9%, positive predictive value of 75.9% with a specificity of 45.5%. ISTH had sensitivity of 69.4%, positive predictive value 75.3% and specificity of 48.5%. Conclusion DIC can impose a significant burden on septic patients and its presence can lead to higher mortality rates. Early detection through screening for DIC in septic patients can potentially reduce mortality. However, it is necessary to identify the most appropriate diagnostic criteria for each population, as various criteria have demonstrated different performance in different populations. Establishing a gold standard for each population can aid in accurate diagnosis of DIC.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0295050
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3 March
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


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