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Vol. 117, No. 1, 2007
Issue release date: December 2006
Acta Haematol 2007;117:34–39

Utility of the Fibrinogen/C-Reactive Protein Ratio for the Diagnosis of Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation

Kim H.K. · Lee D.S. · Kang S.-H. · Kim J.Q. · Park S. · Cho H.-I.
aDepartment of Laboratory Medicine, bCancer Research Institute and cDepartment of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

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Although the presence of decreased plasma fibrinogen has been regarded as an indicator of ongoing disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), fibrinogen, which is one of the acute phase reactants, is often increased in the patients with DIC. We investigated the diagnostic and prognostic utility of a new parameter [the fibrinogen/C-reactive protein (CRP) ratio] for predicting DIC in 1,056 patients with suspected DIC and who also had underlying disorders associated with DIC. Among the 535 patients with overt DIC, 46 patients (8.6%) showed low plasma fibrinogen (<100 mg/dl), suggesting that the plasma fibrinogen level is not a sensitive marker for DIC. There was a strong correlation between the increased DIC scores and increased number of patients with low (<104) fibrinogen/CRP ratios. Among the three groups with different serum fibrinogen/fibrin degradation product levels, the fibrinogen/CRP ratio showed a higher difference than did the fibrinogen level. The DIC score was highly correlated with the 28-day mortality and the number of patients with low fibrinogen/CRP ratios. The odds ratio (the relative risk of 28-day mortality) of the low fibrinogen/CRP ratio was 6.15, while the odds ratio of the low fibrinogen level was 2.13. The area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve of the fibrinogen/CRP ratio, when this was used for predicting mortality, showed significantly better discriminative power than did that of the fibrinogen level. This study demonstrates that the fibrinogen/CRP ratio may provide more discriminating power for identifying the patients with active coagulation consumption, and the fibrinogen/CRP ratio has a good predictive value concerning the 28-day mortality in the patients suspected of having DIC. The results of our study suggest that replacement of fibrinogen by the fibrinogen/CRP ratio for calculating the DIC score may lead to enhance diagnostic and prognostic power for DIC.

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