Background: The severe inflammatory state secondary to COVID-19 leads to a severe derangement of hemostasis that has been recently described as a state of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) and consumption coagulopathy, defined as decreased platelet count, increased fibrin(ogen) degradation products such as D-dimer, as well as low fibrinogen.
Aims: Whole blood from 24 patients admitted at the intensive care unit because of COVID-19 was collected and evaluated with thromboelastography by the TEG point-of-care device on a single occasion and six underwent repeated measurements on two consecutive days for a total of 30 observations. Plasma was evaluated for the other parameters of hemostasis.
Results: TEG parameters are consistent with a state of hypercoagulability as shown by decreased values, and increased values of K angle and MA. Platelet count was normal or increased, prothrombin time and activated partial thromboplastin time were near(normal). Fibrinogen was increased and D-dimer was dramatically increased. C-reactive protein was increased. Factor VIII and von Willebrand factor (n = 11) were increased. Antithrombin (n = 11) was marginally decreased and protein C (n = 11) was increased.
Conclusion: The results of this cohort of patients with COVID-19 are not consistent with acute DIC, rather they support hypercoagulability together with a severe inflammatory state. These findings may explain the events of venous thromboembolism observed in some of these patients and support antithrombotic prophylaxis/treatment. Clinical trials are urgently needed to establish the type of drug, dosage, and optimal duration of prophylaxis.
Keywords: factor VIII; hypercoagulability; protein C; protein S; sepsis; von Willebrand factor.
© 2020 International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis.