This case illustrates the acute onset of life-threatening bleeding in a 57-year-old male with treatment-resistant metastatic prostate cancer. Laboratory results confirmed the presence of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC).
Despite aggressive transfusion support, his consumptive coagulopathy and persistent bleeding could not be controlled, and his need for blood products began to outpace the available supply. Our patient had declined further chemotherapy treatment for his underlying aggressive prostate cancer and would accept only palliative care. Both thrombosis and bleeding are known to coexist during DIC. In our patient, his hemorrhagic clinical condition and laboratory results supported the presence of DIC with an excessive fibrinolytic process in the setting of metastatic prostate cancer. Following careful consideration of potential risks and benefits, the decision was made to administer the antifibrinolytic agent tranexamic acid to control bleeding. Initiation of this treatment led to rapid bleeding cessation without thrombotic complication. Although controversial, this treatment was life-saving in our patient and allowed hospital discharge. He remained transfusion independent for his remaining four weeks of life following discharge, and ultimately died at home of multi-organ failure related to his cancer.
Curēus. 2015 Dec 22*** epublish ***
Oksana Prokopchuk-Gauk, Kelsey Brose
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Alberta. , Department of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Royal University Hospital.