Venous thromboembolism in critically ill patients affected by ARDS related to COVID-19 in Northern-West Italy

Y. Longhitano, F. Racca, C. Zanza, A. Piccioni, A. Audo, M. Muncinelli, R. Santi, D. Kozel, C. Geraci, M. Taverna, V. Bonato, F. Cassini, F. Franceschi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an emerging infectious disease that was first reported in Wuhan, China, and has subsequently spread worldwide. An association between increased venous thromboembolism in patients with pneumonia-related to COVID-19 has not yet been well described. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We aimed to illustrate cases of pulmonary thromboembolism in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome related to COVID-19 treated in our intensive care unit. The medical records of patients affected by COVID-19 with acute respiratory distress syndrome in our institute from 1/3/2020 to 31/3/2020 were retrospectively reviewed. RESULTS: Our center registered a high prevalence of thromboembolic events among 62 patients affected by acute respiratory distress syndrome related to COVID-19 despite a regular antithrombotic prophylaxis. Out of these, 32 patients were transferred to other hospitals, and 30 were treated in our center. Venous thromboembolism was registered in 12 (19.3%) cases. In particular, 11 diagnoses of pulmonary embolism and 1 diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis were formulated. We described a case series of venous thromboembolism in nine patients treated in our Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Main pulmonary arteries were always involved in these patients. None of them died. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, critically ill patients with ARDS related to COVID-19 may have an increased risk of VTE that could be a leading cause of mortality. These patients require a high index of clinical suspicion and an accurate diagnostic approach, in order to immediately start an appropriate anticoagulant treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9154-9160
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
  • COVID-19
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Pulmonary embolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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