Background: A possible association between COVID-19 infection and thrombosis, either as a direct consequence of the virus or as a complication of inflammation, is emerging in the literature. Data on the incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) are extremely limited.
Methods: We describe three cases of thromboembolism refractory to heparin treatment, the incidence of VTE in an inpatient cohort, and a case-control study to identify risk factors associated with VTE.
Results: We identified 274 confirmed (208) or probable (66) COVID-19 patients. 21 (7.7%) were diagnosed with VTE. D-dimer was elevated in both cases (confirmed VTE) and controls (no confirmed VTE) but higher levels were seen in confirmed VTE cases (4.1 vs 1.2 μg/mL, p<0.001).
Conclusion: Incidence of VTE is high in patients hospitalised with COVID-19. Urgent clinical trials are needed to evaluate the role of anticoagulation in COVID-19. Monitoring of D-dimer and anti-factor Xa levels may be beneficial in guiding management.
Keywords: COVID-19; D-dimer; deep vein thrombosis; pulmonary embolism; venous thromboembolism.
© Royal College of Physicians 2020. All rights reserved.