Can platelet size predict severity and mortality in COVID-19?

Sumary of Can platelet size predict severity and mortality in COVID-19?:

  • The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has baffled researchers with its propensity to cause symptoms of largely unpredictable severity in the affected individuals.
  • While most patients have mild or no symptoms, a significant minority develop severe or critical symptoms, and some have a fatal outcome.
  • COVID-19 patients with severe disease often develop clots in vital organs, which leads to further complications.
  • Recently released onto the medRxiv* preprint server, the study shows that platelet-large cell ratio (P-LCR) is a key signal of platelet activity in COVID-19, detectable at the point of admission, and could well triage high-risk patients before they develop thrombotic complications.
  • Platelet aggregation is also increased, with elevated levels of thromboxane, a pro-inflammatory procoagulant molecule.
  • In fact, a consistent fall in platelets is linked to higher mortality in this condition.
  • COVID-19 patients with acute lung injury (ALI) show increased pulmonary megakaryocytes.
  • Younger platelets are larger and more active, indicating a higher risk of thrombosis.

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