Since acute disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) often contributes to a fatal outcome in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), prediction of its development is important to prevent the occurrence of such an event. To analyze the risk factor(s) contributing to the development of acute DIC in SLE, we carried out a retrospective study of a series of 129 SLE patients, eight of whom developed DIC during the course of this disease, to assess which of the easily assessable parameters, present at the time of first medical examination, were of predictive significance. The important individual variables, determined by univariate analysis, were male sex, leukopenia, and infection. These factors were placed in a multivariate logistic regression model, and only one factor, infection at first medical examination, was found to have predictive significance for the development of acute DIC in SLE patients. The prevention and control of infection in SLE patients might have implications for preventing the development of acute DIC.