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Mediterr J Hematol Infect Dis ; 13(1): e2021032, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1234866


The current COVID-19 pandemic requires revisiting our current approach to major blood disorders, including ITP (Immune Thrombocytopenia), stirring up the production of several disease-specific practical guidelines. This report describes an updated version of consensus-based practical guidelines on the management of ITP, adapted to the Italian health system and social context. It highlights the role of the hematologist in offering guidance for choosing differentiated approaches in relation to specific circumstances and is intended to provide them with a useful tool for sharing the decision-making process with their patients. Probably, the greatest risk to avoid for a patient with suspected, ongoing or relapsed ITP - that is not severe enough to place him or her at risk for major bleeding - is to be infected in non-hospital and hospital healthcare settings. This risk must be carefully considered when adapting the diagnostic and therapeutic approach. More in detail, the document first addresses the appropriate management for COVID-19 negative patients with newly diagnosed ITP or who experience a relapse of previous ITP, according to first and second lines of treatment and then the management of COVID-19 positive patients according to their severity, from paucisymptomatic to those requiring admission to Intensive Cure Units (ICU). The pros and cons of the different treatments required to correct platelet count are discussed, as are some specific situations, including chronic ITP, splenectomy, thromboembolic complication and anti COVID-19 vaccination.

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