LONG COVID WP8 – Ranucci M. et al.

LONG COVID WP8 – Studio dei meccanismi molecolari e patologici coinvolti nelle malattie cardiovascolari


Background: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)-associated coagulopathy is characterized by a prothrombotic state not yet comprehensively studied. We investigated the coagulation pattern of patients with COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), comparing patients who survived to those who did not.

Methods: In this prospective cohort study on 20 COVID-19 ARDS patients, the following biomarkers were measured: thrombin generation (prothrombin fragment 1 + 2 (PF 1 + 2)), fibrinolysis activation (tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)) and inhibition (plasminogen activator inhibitor 2 (PAI-2)), fibrin synthesis (fibrinopeptide A) and fibrinolysis magnitude (plasmin-antiplasmin complex (PAP) and D-dimers). Measurements were done upon intensive care unit (ICU) admission and after 10-14 days.

Results: There was increased thrombin generation; modest or null release of t-PA; and increased levels of PAI-2, fibrinopeptide A, PAP and D-dimers. At baseline, nonsurvivors had a significantly (p = 0.014) higher PAI-2/PAP ratio than survivors (109, interquartile range (IQR) 18.1-216, vs. 8.7, IQR 2.9-12.6). At follow-up, thrombin generation was significantly (p = 0.025) reduced in survivors (PF 1 + 2 from 396 pg/mL, IQR 185-585 to 237 pg/mL, IQR 120-393), whereas it increased in nonsurvivors. Fibrinolysis inhibition at follow-up remained stable in survivors and increased in nonsurvivors, leading to a significant (p = 0.026) difference in PAI-2 levels (161 pg/mL, IQR 50-334, vs. 1088 pg/mL, IQR 177-1565).

Conclusion: Severe patterns of COVID-19 ARDS are characterized by a thrombin burst and the consequent coagulation activation. Mechanisms of fibrinolysis regulation appear unbalanced toward fibrinolysis inhibition. This pattern ameliorates in survivors, whereas it worsens in non survivors.

Reference: Ranucci M, Sitzia C, Baryshnikova E, Di Dedda U, Cardani R, Martelli F, et al. Covid-19-Associated Coagulopathy: Biomarkers of Thrombin Generation and Fibrinolysis Leading the Outcome. J Clin Med. 2020;9(11). Epub 2020/11/01. doi: 10.3390/jcm9113487. PubMed PMID: 33126772; PubMed Central PMCID: PMCPMC7692774.