Rev Med Virol. 2020 Oct 6:e2177. doi: 10.1002/rmv.2177. Online ahead of print.
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a novel human respiratory viral infection that has rapidly progressed into a pandemic, causing significant morbidity and mortality. Blood clotting disorders and acute respiratory failure have surfaced as the major complications among the severe cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection. Remarkably, more than 70% of deaths related to COVID-19 are attributed to clotting-associated complications such as pulmonary embolism, strokes and multi-organ failure. These vascular complications have been confirmed by autopsy. This study summarizes the current understanding and explains the possible mechanisms of the blood clotting disorder, emphasizing the role of (1) hypoxia-related activation of coagulation factors like tissue factor, a significant player in triggering coagulation cascade, (2) cytokine storm and activation of neutrophils and the release of neutrophil extracellular traps and (3) immobility and ICU related risk factors.