Introduction: Anticoagulant therapy for patients with sepsis is not recommended in the latest Surviving Sepsis Campaign guidelines, and non-anticoagulant therapy is the global standard treatment approach at present. We aimed at elucidating the effect of non-anticoagulant therapy on patients with sepsis-induced disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), as evidence on this topic has remained inconclusive. Materials and methods: Data from 3195 consecutive adult patients admitted to 42 intensive care units for the treatment of severe sepsis were retrospectively analyzed via propensity score analyses with and without multiple imputation. The primary outcome was in-hospital all-cause mortality. Results: Among 1784 patients with sepsis-induced DIC, 745 (41.8%) were not treated with anticoagulants. The inverse probability of treatment-weighted (with and without multiple imputation) and quintile-stratified propensity score analyses (without multiple imputation) indicated a significant association between non-anticoagulant therapy and higher in-hospital all-cause mortality (odds ratio [95% confidence interval]: 1.59 [1.19–2.12], 1.32 [1.02–1.81], and 1.32 [1.03–1.69], respectively). However, quintile-stratified propensity score analyses with multiple imputation and propensity score matching analysis with and without multiple imputation did not show this association. Survival duration was not significantly different between patients in the propensity score-matched non-anticoagulant therapy group and those in the anticoagulant therapy group (Cox regression analysis with and without multiple imputation: hazard ratio [95% confidence interval]: 1.26 [1.00–1.60] and 1.22 [0.93–1.59], respectively). Conclusions: It remains controversial if non-anticoagulant therapy is harmful, equivalent, or beneficial compared with anticoagulant therapy in the treatment of patients with sepsis-induced DIC.
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