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In the pathogenesis of sepsis, inflammation and coagulation play a pivotal role. Increasing evidence points to an extensive cross-talk between these two systems, whereby inflammation leads to activation of coagulation, and coagulation also considerably affects inflammatory activity. Molecular pathways that contribute to inflammation-induced activation of coagulation have been precisely identified. Pro-inflammatory cytokines and other mediators are capable of activating the coagulation system and down-regulating important physiologic anticoagulant pathways. Activation of the coagulation system and ensuing thrombin generation is dependent on expression of tissue factor and the simultaneous down-regulation of endothelial-bound anticoagulant mechanisms and endogenous fibrinolysis. Conversely, activated coagulation proteases may affect specific cellular receptors on inflammatory cells and endothelial cells and thereby modulate the inflammatory response.