Thrombosis, Bleeding, and the Observational Effect of Early Therapeutic Anticoagulation on Survival in Critically Ill Patients With COVID-19

Link to article at PubMed

Ann Intern Med. 2021 Jan 26:M20-6739. doi: 10.7326/M20-6739. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Hypercoagulability may be a key mechanism of death in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) and major bleeding in critically ill patients with COVID-19 and examine the observational effect of early therapeutic anticoagulation on survival.

DESIGN: In a multicenter cohort study of 3239 critically ill adults with COVID-19, the incidence of VTE and major bleeding within 14 days after intensive care unit (ICU) admission was evaluated. A target trial emulation in which patients were categorized according to receipt or no receipt of therapeutic anticoagulation in the first 2 days of ICU admission was done to examine the observational effect of early therapeutic anticoagulation on survival. A Cox model with inverse probability weighting to adjust for confounding was used.

SETTING: 67 hospitals in the United States.

PARTICIPANTS: Adults with COVID-19 admitted to a participating ICU.

MEASUREMENTS: Time to death, censored at hospital discharge, or date of last follow-up.

RESULTS: Among the 3239 patients included, the median age was 61 years (interquartile range, 53 to 71 years), and 2088 (64.5%) were men. A total of 204 patients (6.3%) developed VTE, and 90 patients (2.8%) developed a major bleeding event. Independent predictors of VTE were male sex and higher D-dimer level on ICU admission. Among the 2809 patients included in the target trial emulation, 384 (11.9%) received early therapeutic anticoagulation. In the primary analysis, during a median follow-up of 27 days, patients who received early therapeutic anticoagulation had a similar risk for death as those who did not (hazard ratio, 1.12 [95% CI, 0.92 to 1.35]).

LIMITATION: Observational design.

CONCLUSION: Among critically ill adults with COVID-19, early therapeutic anticoagulation did not affect survival in the target trial emulation.


PMID:33493012 | PMC:PMC7863679 | DOI:10.7326/M20-6739

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