medRxiv. 2020 Oct 23:2020.10.20.20215608. doi: 10.1101/2020.10.20.20215608. Preprint.
The causes of coagulopathy associated with COVID-19 disease are poorly understood. We aimed to investigate the relationship between markers of endothelial activation, intravascular hemolysis, coagulation, and organ damage in COVID-19 patients and study their association with disease severity and mortality. We conducted a retrospective study of 181 hospitalized COVID-19 patients randomly selected with equal distribution of survivors and non-survivors. Patients who died had significantly lower ADAMTS13 activity, significantly higher LDH, schistocytes and von Willebrand Factor levels compared to patients discharged alive. Only 30% of patients with an initial ADAMTS13 activity <43% survived vs. 60% with ADAMTS13 ≥43% who survived. In conclusion, COVID-19 may manifest as a TMA-like illness in a subset of hospitalized patients. Presence of schistocytes on admission may warrant a work-up for TMA. These findings indicate the need for future investigation to study the relationship between endothelial and coagulation activation and the efficacy of TMA treatments in COVID-19.