UBC Faculty Research and Publications

The COVID-19 Pandemic: Disproportionate Thrombotic Tendency and Management Recommendations Karim, Sabina; Islam, Amin; Rafiq, Shafquat; Laher, Ismail


COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the SARS COV-2 virus. Patients with COVID-19 are susceptible to thrombosis due to excessive inflammation, platelet activation, endothelial dysfunction, and circulatory stasis, resulting in an increased risk of death due to associated coagulopathies. In addition, many patients receiving antithrombotic therapy for pre-existing thrombotic diseases can develop COVID-19, which can further complicate dose adjustment, choice and laboratory monitoring of antithrombotic treatment. This review summarizes the laboratory findings, the prohemostatic state, incidence of thromboembolic events and some potential therapeutic interventions of COVID-19 associated coagulopathy. We explore the roles of biomarkers of thrombosis and inflammation according to the severity of COVID-19. While therapeutic anticoagulation has been used empirically in some patients with severe COVID-19 but without thrombosis, it may be preferable to provide supportive care based on evidence-based randomized clinical trials. The likely lifting of travel restrictions will accelerate the spread of COVID-19, increasing morbidity and mortality across nations. Many individuals will continue to receive anticoagulation therapy regardless of their location, requiring on-going treatment with low-molecular weight heparin, vitamin K antagonist or direct-acting anticoagulants.

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