Thrombosis Journal (Dec 2021)

Incidence and characteristics of arterial thromboemboli in patients with COVID-19

  • Nancy Glober,
  • Lauren Stewart,
  • JangDong Seo,
  • Christopher Kabrhel,
  • Kristen Nordenholz,
  • Carlos Camargo,
  • Jeffrey Kline

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 19, no. 1
pp. 1 – 6


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Abstract Background Studies have reported COVID-19 as an independent risk factor for arterial thromboemboli. Methods From a cross-sectional sample, we determined the incidence and location of arterial thromboemboli (myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, peripheral artery), stratified by COVID-19 status, in the RECOVER database, which included data on patients at 45 United States medical centers in 22 states. Epidemiological factors, clinical characteristics and outcomes were collected through a combination of individual chart review and automatic electronic query and recorded in REDCap®. We investigated the association of baseline comorbidities on the development of arterial thromboemboli and analyzed results based on the presence or absence of concomitant COVID-19 infection, testing this association with Chi-squared. We also described use of anticoagulants and statins. Results Data were collected on 26,974 patients, of which 13,803 (51.17%) tested positive for COVID-19. Incidence of arterial thromboemboli during hospitalization was 0.13% in patients who tested positive for COVID-19 and 0.19% in patients who tested negative. Arterial thromboemboli tended to be more common in extremities than in core organs (heart, kidney, lung, liver) in patients with COVID-19, odds ratio 2.04 (95% CI 0.707 – 5.85). Patients with COVID-19 were less likely to develop an arterial thrombus when on baseline statin medication (p=0.014). Presence of metabolic syndrome predicted presence of core arterial thrombus (p=0.001) and extremity arterial thrombus (p=0.010) in those with COVID-19. Arterial thromboemboli were less common in patients with COVID-19 than in those who tested negative for COVID-19. Conclusions Presence of a composite metabolic syndrome profile may be associated with arterial clot formation in patients with COVID-19 infection.