FROM ISTH2020: WTD Steering Committee Chair Explains New Blood Clotting Phenomenon In Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients

July 12, 2020


As the world continues to learn more about COVID-19, emerging data reveals that hospitalized patients with COVID-19 have an increased risk for blood clots. In a new Illustrated Review published in Research and Practice in Thrombosis and Haemostasis (RPTH), leading thrombosis experts Prof. Beverley Hunt, OBE, and Prof. Marcel Levi, explain a clotting phenomenon found in most hospitalized patients with COVID-19.

According to new studies, most patients hospitalized because they have COVID-19 pneumonia have an unusual pattern of lab test abnormalities that have not been seen with prior infections. The abnormalities include elevated blood biomarkers for substances that signify high levels of inflammation and clotting activity called “thrombo-inflammation.” Patients with a high levels of thrombo-inflammation have the highest risk of death from COVID-19.

“In patients with high levels of thrombo-inflammation, we believe that tiny clots forming in the inflamed lungs may contribute to respiratory failure and the need for intensive care and ventilator use,” said co-author Prof. Levi, Consultant Physician at University College London Hospitals in London.

Prof. Hunt, Consultant at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospitals in London, continued, “What is particularly interesting is that the use of blood thinning medications improved survival in those with thrombo-inflammation.”

An RPTH Illustrated Review Article consists of central images that convey the author’s message, accompanied by brief supporting text. A creative resource to convey scientific work to all audiences, it allows for improved retention and understanding of the information by its readers.

“We hope that publishing in a visual format will help the public understand science better,” said Prof. Mary Cushman, Editor-in-Chief of RPTH and Professor of Medicine at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont.

To learn more about this research, view the new RPTH illustrated review article, “Thrombosis and Coagulopathy in COVID-19: an Illustrated Review.“To learn more about RPTH, the official open-access publication of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH), visit



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