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The meaning, the utility, and the prognostic significance of the International Society of Thrombosis and Hemostasis overt disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) score and other parameters of coagulation activation including soluble fibrin monomer complexes (SFMC), antithrombin and protein C consumption, and formation of lipoprotein-C-reactive protein (LP-CRP) complexes (MDA slope 1 and flag A2) were evaluated in 165 inpatients from a general hospital for whom DIC testing was required by the attending physicians.Of these 165 patients, 148 had an underlying disease that clearly justified the laboratory request from our systematic post hoc review of the clinical charts. Of these 148 patients, 28 had a positive overt DIC score, 19 had an A2 flag, and 4 had both. The DIC score was strongly related to several major markers of coagulation activation such as D-dimers, thrombin-antithrombin complexes, and soluble fibrin and was inversely related to antithrombin and protein C levels, which began to fall from DIC score 4 or higher. The formation of LP-CRP complexes was only related to Gram-negative sepsis and these patients had a strong inflammatory reaction. Independent risk factors for death were high creatininemia, positive overt DIC score, and/or presence of SFMC. In patients with positive DIC score, SFMC positivity and low levels of antithrombin and/or protein C were additional risk factors.The ISTH overt DIC score proves useful and adequate as a marker for clinically significant DIC. Illness severity is further defined by SFMC, antithrombin, and protein C levels. LP-CRP complexes are related to sepsis but not to actual overt DIC and lethal prognosis. Am. J. Hematol. 81:414-419, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.