Blood Clotting in Lungs of COVID-19 Patients May Help Explain Apparent Differences in Racial Susceptibility to Mortality

May 08, 2020 | Biotechnology

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A study in Ireland has found that some Caucasian patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19 develop a form of abnormal blood clotting that can contribute to death. The study, carried out by clinician scientists at the Irish Centre for Vascular Biology, RCSI and St James’s Hospital, Dublin, found that the abnormal blood clotting caused micro-clots within the lungs, and that patients with higher levels of blood clotting activity had a significantly worse prognosis and were more likely to require admission to an intensive care unit (ICU). The investigators say their results may also help to explain emerging evidence of differences in racial susceptible to COVID-19 mortality.

The study is published in the British Journal of Haematology. “Our novel findings demonstrate that COVID-19 is associated with a unique type of blood clotting disorder that is primarily focused within the lungs and which undoubtedly contributes to the high levels of mortality being seen in patients with COVID-19,” said James O’Donnell, MD, Director of the Irish Centre for Vascular Biology, RCSI and Consultant Haematologist in the National Coagulation Centre in St James’s Hospital, Dublin. O’Donnell and colleagues report their findings in a paper titled, “COVID-19 Coagulopathy in Caucasian Patients.”

Severe COVID-19 infection is associated with marked lung alveolar inflammatory cell infiltrate, together with a systemic cytokine storm response, the authors wrote. Several studies have also reported evidence of a COVID-19-associated clotting disorders, and post-mortem studies have indicated pathological changes to the lung microvasculature, including microthrombi and hemorrhagic necrosis. “Although the pathophysiology underlying severe COVID-19 remains poorly understood, accumulating data suggest that a lung-centric coagulopathy may plan an important role,” the team noted. “Moreover, em... Read more at the GEN – Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News Blog.

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