Twenty-five patients with acute pancreatitis were studied prospectively in the first week of their admission using haematological and coagulation tests. Platelet counts initially fell and later returned to admission levels. Rising levels of plasma fibrinogen were recorded. The kaolin cephalin clotting time was shorter than its control in twenty-one patients. Eighteen patients had elevated fibrinogen degradation products and fourteen had a positive ethanol gelation test. It is suggested that by taking into account the results in series of individual patients a degree of intravascular coagulation may be a common feature of acute pancreatitis. In one patient (presented in detail) strong evidence for disseminated intravascular coagulation was found
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