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Platelets in Coronavirus Disease 2019
In December 2019, the first cases of infection with a novel human microorganism, now officially defined as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), were reported in Wuhan, China. On April 1, 2020, as we write, more than 800,000 cases of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been reported worldwide, with more than 40,000 COVID-19–related deaths.
Studies have reported disturbed coagulation in COVID-19 patients, including prolonged prothrombin time,  decreased antithrombin, and increased fibrin degradation products such as D-dimer.     This implies increased risk of thromboembolic disease, as well as bleeding and, for the most serious cases, development of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), which, in one case series, was reported in as many as 71% of nonsurvivors of COVID-19.
This commentary explores the potential role of platelets in COVID-19, including the link between thrombocytopenia and disease severity and the considerations for the potential role for platelet function and/or platelet activation testing in COVID-19 patients.
Article published online:
30 April 2020
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