COVID-19 is associated with a variety of clinical complications including coagulopathy, which frequently results in venous thromboembolism (VTE). Retrospective analyses reported a markedly increased rate of VTEs in COVID-19. However, most recent studies on coagulopathy in COVID-19 were only focused on critically ill patients, and without suitable control groups. We aimed to evaluate the rate of VTEs in an all-comers cohort with suspected COVID-19 during a 30-days follow-up period. We also studied the level of D-dimers and their association with the course of disease. In our prospective single-center study (DRKS00021206, 03/30/2020), we analyzed 190 patients with suspected COVID-19 admitted to the emergency department between March and April 2020. Forty-nine patients were SARS-CoV-2 positive (25.8%). The 141 SARS-CoV-2-negative patients served as control group. After completion of a 30-days follow-up, VTE was diagnosed in 3 patients of the SARS-CoV-2-positive group (6.1%, amongst these 2 ICU cases) versus 5 patients in the SARS-CoV-2-negative group (3.5%), however the difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.427). 30-days mortality was similar in both groups (6.1% vs. 5%, p = 0.720). Disease severity correlated with the maximum level of D-dimers during follow-up in COVID-19. The rate of VTE was numerically higher in SARS-CoV-2 positive all-comers presenting with suspected COVID-19 as compared to well-matched controls suffering from similar symptoms. VTEs in the COVID-19 group predominantly occurred in ICU courses. The maximum level of D-dimers during follow-up was associated with disease severity in COVID-19, whereas the level of D-dimers at admission was not.
Keywords: COVID-19; D-dimers; SARS-CoV-2; Venous thromboembolism.