Is protease inhibitor a choice for the treatment of pre- or mild disseminated intravascular coagulation?

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To investigate the effect of a protease inhibitor, gabexate mesylate, on patients with pre- or mild disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) in comparison with a control group receiving no anticoagulation therapy.


Prospective, randomized, controlled study.


General intensive care unit at a general hospital.


Adult patients (40) with a DIC score between 6 and 8 (pre- or mild DIC).


In 20 patients, gabexate mesylate (2 mg/kg/hr) was administered as 2 mL/hr in saline (treated group) and in another 20 patients, saline (2 mL/hr; control group) was administered during the study (7 days).

Measurements and Main Results:

The following variables were determined at the time of admission to the intensive care unit before treatment and 1, 3, 5, and 7 days thereafter: platelet count, antithrombin III activity, serum or plasma concentrations of fibrinogen, fibrin degradation product, D-dimer, fibrin monomer, thrombin-antithrombin III complex, and plasmin-plasmin inhibitor complex, prothrombin time ratio, and DIC score. Two patients in the treated group and four in the control group were excluded from the study because they died during the study; therefore, 34 patients were analyzed. The measured variables of coagulation and fibrinolysis were not significantly different between the two groups, except for the D-dimer on day 3 (the treated group showed a higher concentration). D-dimer concentration and DIC score went down more quickly in the control group than the treated group, but not significantly. The mortality rate at 1 month was 40% (8 of 20) in the treated group and 35% (7 of 20) in the control group, without any differences between the two groups.


In a limited number of patients (n = 34), gabexate mesylate (2 mg/kg/hr) could not inhibit coagulation or fibrinolysis and gabexate mesylate could not improve the DIC score or mortality rate in pre- or mild DIC.

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