Background: SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with thrombotic and microvascular complications. The cause of coagulopathy in the disease is incompletely understood. Methods: A single-center cross-sectional study including 66 adult COVID-19 patients (40 moderate, 26 severe disease), and 9 controls, performed between 04/2020 and 10/2020. Markers of coagulation, endothelial cell function [angiopoietin-1,-2, P-selectin, von Willebrand Factor Antigen (WF:Ag), von Willebrand Factor Ristocetin Cofactor, ADAMTS13, thrombomodulin, soluble Endothelial cell Protein C Receptor (sEPCR), Tissue Factor Pathway Inhibitor], neutrophil activation (elastase, citrullinated histones) and fibrinolysis (tissue-type plasminogen activator, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1) were evaluated using ELISA. Tissue Factor (TF) was estimated by antithrombin-FVIIa complex (AT/FVIIa) and microparticles-TF (MP-TF). We correlated each marker and determined its association with severity. Expression of pulmonary TF, thrombomodulin and EPCR was determined by immunohistochemistry in 9 autopsies. Findings: Comorbidities were frequent in both groups, with older age associated with severe disease. All patients were on prophylactic anticoagulants. Three patients (4.5%) developed pulmonary embolism. Mortality was 7.5%. Patients presented with mild alterations in the coagulogram (compensated state). Biomarkers of endothelial cell, neutrophil activation and fibrinolysis were elevated in severe vs moderate disease; AT/FVIIa and MP-TF levels were higher in severe patients. Logistic regression revealed an association of D-dimers, angiopoietin-1, vWF:Ag, thrombomodulin, white blood cells, absolute neutrophil count (ANC) and hemoglobin levels with severity, with ANC and vWF:Ag identified as independent factors. Notably, postmortem specimens demonstrated epithelial expression of TF in the lung of fatal COVID-19 cases with loss of thrombomodulin staining, implying in a shift towards a procoagulant state. Interpretation: Coagulation dysregulation has multifactorial etiology in SARS-Cov-2 infection. Upregulation of pulmonary TF with loss of thrombomodulin emerge as a potential link to immunothrombosis, and therapeutic targets in the disease.

Fuente: EClinicalMedicine