Incidence of Venous Thromboembolism in Critically Ill Coronavirus Disease 2019 Patients Receiving Prophylactic Anticoagulation

Link to article at PubMed

Trigonis RA, et al. Crit Care Med 2020.


OBJECTIVES: One of the defining features of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 infection has been high rates of venous thromboses. The present study aimed to describe the prevalence of venous thromboembolism in critically ill patients receiving different regimens of prophylactic anticoagulation.

DESIGN: Single-center retrospective review using data from patients with confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 requiring intubation.

SETTING: Tertiary-care center in Indianapolis, IN, United States.

PATIENTS: Patients hospitalized at international units Health Methodist Hospital with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 requiring intubation between March 23, 2020, and April 8, 2020, who underwent ultrasound evaluation for venous thrombosis.


MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: A total of 45 patients were included. Nineteen of 45 patients (42.2%) were found to have deep venous thrombosis. Patients found to have deep venous thrombosis had no difference in time to intubation (p = 0.97) but underwent ultrasound earlier in their hospital course (p = 0.02). Sequential Organ Failure Assessment scores were similar between the groups on day of intubation and day of ultrasound (p = 0.44 and p = 0.07, respectively). D-dimers were markedly higher in patients with deep venous thrombosis, both for maximum value and value on day of ultrasound (p < 0.01 for both). Choice of prophylactic regimen was not related to presence of deep venous thrombosis (p = 0.35). Ultrasound evaluation is recommended if D-dimer is greater than 2,000 ng/mL (sensitivity 95%, specificity 46%) and empiric anticoagulation considered if D-dimer is greater than 5,500 ng/mL (sensitivity 53%, specificity 88%).

CONCLUSIONS: Deep venous thrombosis is very common in critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019. There was no difference in incidence of deep venous thrombosis among different pharmacologic prophylaxis regimens, although our analysis is limited by small sample size. D-dimer values are elevated in the majority of these patients, but there may be thresholds at which screening ultrasound or even empiric systemic anticoagulation is indicated.

PMID:32618699 | PMC:PMC7314344 | DOI:10.1097/CCM.0000000000004472

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