Diagnostic efficacy of 6 plasma-proteins in evaluating consumptive coagulopathies - use of receiver operating characteristic curves to compare antithrombin-III, plasminogen, alpha-2-plasmin inhibitor, fibronectin, prothrombin, and protein-C
Six coagulation proteins were measured in 79 consecutive patients referred to the coagulation service for suspected disseminated intravascular coagulation. Antithrombin III, plasminogen, and alpha 2-plasmin inhibitor were measured with fluorescent substrate assays. Fibronectin, prothrombin, and protein C were measured with electroimmunoassays. Using history and physical findings and the results of a coagulation screen (prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, fibrinogen, fibrin[ogen] degradation products, platelet count, and peripheral smear), the 79 patients were classified into five categories: no disseminated intravascular coagulation (n = 21), elevated fibrin(ogen) degradation products without other evidence of coagulopathy (n = 44), defibrination syndrome (n = 9), microangiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (n = 4), and primary fibrinolysis (n = 1). Because the sensitivity and specificity of each of the proteins could not easily be compared, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves and areas under the ROC curves were calculated for each of the six proteins as well as for the tests of the coagulation screen. The ROC curves indicated that, apart from plasminogen, the other coagulation proteins provided little additional information about the classification of the coagulopathy.