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SAGE Open Med ; 9: 20503121211049931, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1472333


INTRODUCTION: Critically ill COVID-19 patients are at increased risk of thrombosis with an enhanced risk of bleeding. We aimed to explore the role of anti-factor Xa levels in optimizing the high-intensity anticoagulation's safety and efficacy and finding possible associations between D-dimer levels, cytokine storm markers, and COVID-19-induced coagulopathy or thrombophilia. METHODS: Retrospective cohort study conducted on 69 critically ill COVID-19 patients who received three regimens of higher intensity anticoagulation. RESULTS: Seventeen patients (24.6%) received high-dose enoxaparin prophylaxis, 29 patients (42%) received therapeutic doses of enoxaparin, and 23 patients (33.3%) were on therapeutic unfractionated heparin infusion. Fewer than one-third of the whole cohort (n = 22; 31.8%) achieved the target range of anti-factor Xa. The patients were divided into three subgroups based on anti-factor Xa target status within each anticoagulation regimen; when compared, the only association observed among them was for interleukin-6 levels, which were significantly higher in both the "above the expected range" and "below the expected range" groups compared with the "within the expected range" group (p = 0.009). Major bleeding episodes occurred in 14 (20.3%) patients and were non-significantly more frequent in the "below the expected anti-factor Xa range group" (p = 0.415). Seven patients (10.1%) developed thrombosis. The majority of patients had anti-factor Xa levels below the expected ranges (four patients, 57.1%). CONCLUSION: Conventional anti-factor Xa ranges may not be appropriate as a predictive surrogate for bleeding in critically ill COVID-19. The clinical decision to initiate therapeutic anticoagulation preemptively may be individualized according to thrombosis and bleeding risks. Cytokine storm markers, namely, interleukin-6, may play a role in COVID-19-induced coagulopathy or thrombophilia.