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J Thromb Thrombolysis ; 52(1): 105-110, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1002136


Patients with Coronavirus-associated disease-2019 (COVID-19) display alterations of the hemostatic system and the presence of a prothrombotic status frequently leading to vascular complications. However, the impact of COVID-19 on platelet activity, aggregation and agglutination still needs to be clarified. We measured total levels of von Willebrand factor (vWF) and vWF binding to the platelet glycoprotein (Gp) complex (GPIb-IX-V), in a cohort of COVID-19 patients admitted to the intensive care unit of our Institution. Moreover, we evaluated platelet aggregation in response to agonists (ADP, collagen, arachidonic acid) and platelet agglutination in response to ristocetin. We found that levels of vWF antigen and the active form of vWF binding to platelets (vWF:RCo), were markedly increased in these patients. These results were associated with higher agglutination rates induced by ristocetin, thereby indirectly indicating an increased capability of vWF to bind to platelets. Conversely, we found that platelet aggregation in response to both ADP and collagen was lower in COVID-19 patients compared to healthy volunteers. This study shows that COVID-19 is associated with increased vWF-induced platelet agglutination but reduced platelet responsivity to aggregation stimuli. Our findings have translational relevance since platelet adhesion to vWF may represent a marker to predict possible complications and better delineate therapeutic strategies in COVID-19 patients.

Blood Platelets/metabolism , COVID-19/blood , Platelet Aggregation , von Willebrand Factor/metabolism , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Agglutination , Blood Platelets/virology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Female , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Platelet Function Tests , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Thrombosis/blood , Thrombosis/diagnosis , Thrombosis/virology