J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2020 Aug;29(8):104982. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2020.104982. Epub 2020 May 23.
We report a case of ophthalmic artery occlusion (OAO) in a young patient with COVID-19 infection that was on therapeutic anticoagulation with apixaban for deep venous thrombosis (DVT). A 48-year-old man with obesity was hospitalized with a severe form of COVID-19 infection, complicated with acute respiratory failure, septic shock, dilated cardiomyopathy and fungemia. Despite treatment with prophylactic enoxaparin (initial D-Dimer 1.14 µg/ml FEU (normal < 0.05 µg/ml FEU), D-Dimer increased to above 20 µg/ml FEU and patient continued to spike high fevers. This prompted further investigations and upper and lower extremities DVTs were confirmed and managed with enoxaparin 1 mg/kg twice daily. D-dimer level decreased to 4.98 µg/ml FEU while on therapeutic anticoagulation. Three weeks later pending hospital discharge, the anticoagulation was switched to oral apixaban 10 mg twice daily. Patient developed acute severe right eye visual loss of no light perception and was diagnosed with incomplete OAO. D-Dimer was elevated at 2.13 µg/ml FEU. Stroke etiological work-up found no embolic sources, resolution of the dilated cardiomyopathy and negative antiphospholipid antibodies. Treatment was changed to enoxaparin and no thrombotic events were encountered to date. Ocular vascular complications have not yet been reported in COVID-19. Controversy exists on the best management algorithm for the hypercoagulable state associated to COVID-19 Either direct oral anticoagulants or low-molecular-weight-heparin are considered appropriate at discharge for patients with venous thromboembolism. The optimum regimen for ischemic stroke prevention and the significance of D-Dimer for anticoagulation monitoring in COVID-19 remain unclear.