J Blood Med. 2021 Aug 30;12:809-817. doi: 10.2147/JBM.S318940. eCollection 2021.
BACKGROUND: The coagulopathy of COVID-19 still awaits more clarification, and one approach that has not been investigated is to compare the hemostatic changes between COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 infected patients.
OBJECTIVE: This study aims to study COVID-19 coagulopathy by measuring markers of endothelial injury and coagulation, including anticoagulants (TFPI, protein C, protein S, and AT) in COVID-19 patients and compare them with non-COVID-19 patients early in the course of the disease.
METHODOLOGY: This is an observational, prospective cross-sectional study comparing the levels of protein C, protein S, antithrombin (AT) III, clotting factor (F) VIII, von Willebrand factor (vWF) and coagulation screening tests (PT and a PTT), fibrinogen, D-dimer in COVID-19 patients admitted during the same time with non-COVID-19 infections. The demographic and clinical data of the patients were collected from electronic medical records during admission. Blood tests were extracted within 24 hours of admission for both groups.
RESULTS: Fifty-four (66.7% males) consecutive COVID-19 patients and 24 (59% males) non-COVID-19 controls were enrolled in the study from October 2020 till December 2020. COVID-19 patients were significantly older than non-COVID-19 (57.7±14.2 vs 50±19.8 years, p=0.005). Fibrinogen level was significantly higher in COVID-19 patients compared to controls (5.9±1.48 vs 3.9±1.57, p<0.001). There was no statistically significant difference in the level of FVIII, protein C, S, ATIII, and D-dimer between the two groups. The level of vWF Ag was statistically higher in COVID-19 patients (276.7±91.1 vs 184.7±89.4, p=0.0001). There was significant thrombocytopenia and lymphopenia among COVID-19 patients. Inflammatory markers, CRP, ferritin, and LDH, were increased in COVID-19 patients compared to non-COVID-19, but the difference was not statistically significant. High fibrinogen and vWF AG levels were the two independent variables found in COVID-19 patients.
CONCLUSION: The level of vWF Ag is increased early in the course of COVID-19 infection. This can be used as a biomarker for endothelial injury, which is peculiar to COVID-19 infection.