CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Indian Journal of Cardiovascular Disease in Women - WINCARS 2020; 5(03): 200-208
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1716925
Review Article

Venous Thromboembolism in COVID-19: Are Women Different?

Shibba Takkar Chhabra
1  Department of Cardiology, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Unit Hero DMC Heart Institute, Ludhiana, Punjab, India
2  Department of Internal Medicine, RG Stone and Superspeciality Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab, India
› Author Affiliations


The epidemiological data suggests predominant male prevalence, morbidity and mortality with SARS COVID-2. Similarly, venous thromboembolic (VTE) events have a male sex predilection with variant mechanisms involving angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) expression and pathways in women. COVID-19 could directly affect or it could be an indirect action of the disease via critical ailment hypoxemia, or hemostatic abnormalities might be the underlying mechanisms of VTE in a COVID-19 patient with baseline risk factor profile. VTE diagnosis in a COVID scenario has issues of a prone positioned patient, exposure of health workers and minimal therapeutic benefits in a critically ill patient with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Anticoagulation with low-molecular weight heparin (LMWH) can be chosen over unfractionated heparin (UFH) with less monitoring requirements and thereby low exposure to healthcare workers. Variant guidelines for thromboprophylaxis (in hospital/extended postdischarge) have come up, stating anticoagulant administration, according to baseline risk profile and hemostatic biomarkers. Catheter-directed interventions should be reserved only for life-threatening situations. In women, hormonal milieu (for e.g., 17 β-estradiol) might influence occurrence of favorable ACE 2 polymorphisms with less VTE events. The management strategies in a female patient with VTE would be more or less similar to males. Combined oral contraceptives (COC) and estrogen replacement therapies (ERT) may be curtailed in COVID-19 positive patients, given their thrombogenic potential. Pregnancy and postpartum state in COVID-19 positive patient need VTE prophylaxis all the more in the presence of risk profile favoring VTE. Also, VTE prophylaxis when indicated should be continued in women in a normal menstrual cycle. Bleeding risks specific to women (menorrhagia secondary to dysfunctional uterine bleeding [DUB], fibroids, adnexal malignancies and masses, hypothyroidism, etc.) need to be weighed while taking a decision for indicated anticoagulation regimen.

Publication History

Publication Date:
05 October 2020 (online)

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