The hemostatic balance in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) seems to be shifted toward a hypercoagulable state. The aim of the current study was to assess the associated coagulation alterations by point-of-care-diagnostics, focusing on details of clot formation and lysis in these severely affected patients.
The authors’ prospective monocentric observational study included critically ill patients diagnosed with COVID-19. Demographics and biochemical data were recorded. To assess the comprehensive hemostatic profile of this patient population, aggregometric (Multiplate) and viscoelastometric (CloPro) measures were performed in the intensive care unit of a university hospital at a single occasion. Coagulation analysis and assessment of coagulation factors were performed. Data were compared to healthy controls.
In total, 27 patients (21 male; mean age, 60 yr) were included. Impedance aggregometry displayed no greater platelet aggregability in COVID-19 in comparison with healthy controls (area under the curve [AUC] in adenosine diphosphate test, 68 ± 37 U vs. 91 ± 29 U [−27 (Hodges–Lehmann 95% CI, −48 to −1); P = 0.043]; AUC in arachidonic acid test, 102 ± 54 U vs. 115 ± 26 U [−21 (Hodges–Lehmann 95% CI, −51 to 21); P = 0.374]; AUC in thrombin receptor activating peptide 6 test, 114 ± 61 U vs. 144 ± 31 U [−31 (Hodges–Lehmann 95% CI, −69 to −7); P = 0.113]). Comparing the thromboelastometric results of COVID-19 patients to healthy controls, the authors observed significant differences in maximum clot firmness in fibrin contribution to maximum clot firmness assay (37 ± 11 mm vs. 15 ± 4 mm [21 (Hodges–Lehmann 95% CI, 17 to 26); P < 0.001]) and lysis time in extrinsic activation and activation of fibrinolysis by tissue plasminogen activator assay (530 ± 327 s vs. 211 ± 80 s [238 (Hodges–Lehmann 95% CI, 160 to 326); P < 0.001]).
Thromboelastometry in COVID-19 patients revealed greater fibrinolysis resistance. The authors did not find a greater platelet aggregability based on impedance aggregometric tests. These findings may contribute to our understanding of the hypercoagulable state of critically ill patients with COVID-19.
- Although critically ill patients with COVID-19 are at an increased risk for thromboembolic complications, the details of hemostatic balance regarding clot lysis and platelet contribution to clot formation are not well understood.
- Despite increases in von Willebrand factor, platelet aggregability based on impedance aggregometry testing was not increased in critically ill COVID-19, although viscoelastometric testing noted fibrinolysis resistance. These findings contribute to our understanding of the hypercoagulable state of COVID-19 and may have important considerations for management strategies.