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Autoantibodies May Drive COVID-19 Blood Clots

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To identify the key insights or developments described in this article

In severe cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), patients may develop abnormal blood clots—from pulmonary embolisms in the lungs and deep vein thromboses in the legs, to clots that lead to strokes or heart attacks. A new study reveals that clot–promoting autoantibodies likely cause or contribute to these complications.

The research, published in Science Translational Medicine, draws from previous observations that found parallels between blood clotting abnormalities in patients with COVID-19 and those with an autoimmune clotting condition, antiphospholipid syndrome (APS).

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In severe cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), patients may develop abnormal blood clots—from pulmonary embolisms in the lungs and deep vein thromboses in the legs, to clots that lead to strokes or heart attacks. A new study reveals that clot–promoting autoantibodies likely cause or contribute to these complications.

The research, published in Science Translational Medicine, draws from previous observations that found parallels between blood clotting abnormalities in patients with COVID-19 and those with an autoimmune clotting condition, antiphospholipid syndrome (APS).

“Early in the pandemic, we noticed many similarities between the coagulopathies of APS and COVID-19, especially the predilection for thrombosis in vascular beds of all sizes, from large arteries and veins to microscopic capillaries,” the study’s co–senior author Jason S. Knight, MD, PhD, associate professor of rheumatology at the University of Michigan, said in an interview.

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