COVID–19: less albumin, more thrombotic risk
Rashes, swollen legs, clogged catheters and sudden death. The "storm of blood clots" is a frequent and lethal complication in people severely affected by COVID-19.
A few studies have begun to explain the mechanisms underlying this correlation but, to date, the right therapeutic strategy is still a distant goal.
In a new study coordinated by Francesco Violi of the Department of Clinical, Internal Medicine, Anesthesiology and Cardiovascular Sciences and published on Circulation Research journal, the team of researchers of Sapienza University and Policlinico Umberto I noted extremely low serum albumin level in patients affected by Covid-19; the team, after thorough investigations, confirmed a connection with thrombotic complications.
Regardless of one's clinical condition, when the albumin is lower than a given range – i.e. <35g/L – risks of venous and arterial thrombosis increase; the researchers verified this data on Covid-19 patients.
The study, carried out on 73 patients hospitalised in the Infectious Diseases ward and ICU of Policlinico Umberto I Hospital in Rome, directed by Claudio Mastroianni and Francesco Pugliese respectively, demonstrated how Covid-19 patients, especially those severely affected or facing thrombotic complications, had albumin level lower than 35g/L.
Albumin is an essential protein in human blood. It has a strong anti-inflammatory effect achieved by antagonising oxidative stress effects in our body. When the serum albumin range decreases, cells produce high levels of oxygen radicals with resulting uncontrolled activation of the cells leading them to their death.
"Our job" – says Francesco Violi of the Department of Clinical, Internal Medicine, Anesthesiology and Cardiovascular Sciences of Sapienza University and Director of Policlinico I Clinica Medica – "as well as giving an interpretation – to date not entirely clarified – about the thrombotic risk in Covid-19 patients, will open the door to early identification of high-risk individuals and to new therapeutic approaches aimed at reducing thromboses."
Hypoalbuminemia, Coagulopathy and Vascular Disease in Covid-19 - Francesco Violi, Giancarlo Ceccarelli Roberto Cangemi, Francesco Alessandri, Gabriella d'Ettorre, Alessandra Oliva, Daniele Pastori, Lorenzo Loffredo, Pasquale Pignatelli, Franco Ruberto, Mario Venditti, Francesco Pugliese, and Claudio Maria Mastroianni - Circulation Research Jun 2020 https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.120.317173
Department of Clinical, Internal Medicine, Anesthesiology and Cardiovascular Sciences