Autoantibodies Causing COVID-19 Blood Clots That Wreak Havoc on Patients

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Blood clots continue to wreak havoc for patients with severe COVID-19 infection, and a new study explains what may spark them in up to half of patients. The culprit: an autoimmune antibody that’s circulating in the blood, attacking the cells and triggering clots in arteries, veins, and microscopic vessels. Blood clots can cause life-threatening events like strokes. And, in COVID-19, microscopic clots may restrict blood flow in the lungs, impairing oxygen exchange. Outside of novel coronavirus infection, these clot-causing antibodies are typically seen in patients who have the autoimmune disease antiphospholipid syndrome. The connection between autoantibodies and COVID-19 was unexpected, says co-corresponding author Yogen Kanthi, M.D., an assistant professor at the Michigan Medicine Frankel Cardiovascular Center and a Lasker Investigator at the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung, and…
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