Review: Viral infections and mechanisms of thrombosis and bleeding

J Med Virol. 2012 Oct;84(10):1680-96. doi: 10.1002/jmv.23354.


Viral infections are associated with coagulation disorders. All aspects of the coagulation cascade, primary hemostasis, coagulation, and fibrinolysis, can be affected. As a consequence, thrombosis and disseminated intravascular coagulation, hemorrhage, or both, may occur. Investigation of coagulation disorders as a consequence of different viral infections have not been performed uniformly. Common pathways are therefore not fully elucidated. In many severe viral infections there is no treatment other than supportive measures. A better understanding of the pathophysiology behind the association of viral infections and coagulation disorders is crucial for developing therapeutic strategies. This is of special importance in case of severe complications, such as those seen in hemorrhagic viral infections, the incidence of which is increasing worldwide. To date, only a few promising targets have been discovered, meaning the implementation in a clinical context is still hampered. This review discusses non-hemorrhagic and hemorrhagic viruses for which sufficient data on the association with hemostasis and related clinical features is available. This will enable clinicians to interpret research data and place them into a perspective.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Hemorrhage / pathology*
  • Hemorrhage / virology*
  • Humans
  • Thrombosis / pathology*
  • Thrombosis / virology*
  • Virus Diseases / complications*
  • Viruses / pathogenicity*