Background: Thrombosis is a frequent and severe complication in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). Lupus anticoagulant (LA) is a strong acquired risk factor for thrombosis in various diseases and is frequently observed in patients with COVID-19. Whether LA is associated with thrombosis in patients with severe COVID-19 is currently unclear. Objective: To investigate if LA is associated with thrombosis in critically ill patients with COVID-19. Patients/Methods: The presence of LA and other antiphospholipid antibodies was assessed in patients with COVID-19 admitted to the ICU. LA was determined with dilute Russell's viper venom time (dRVVT) and LA-sensitive activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) reagents. Results: Of 169 patients with COVID-19, 116 (69%) tested positive for at least one antiphospholipid antibody upon admission to the ICU. Forty (24%) patients tested positive for LA; of whom 29 (17%) tested positive with a dRVVT, 19 (11%) tested positive with an LA-sensitive aPTT, and 8 (5%) tested positive on both tests. Fifty-eight (34%) patients developed thrombosis after ICU admission. The odds ratio (OR) for thrombosis in patients with LA based on a dRVVT was 2.5 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1–5.7), which increased to 4.5 (95% CI, 1.4–14.3) in patients at or below the median age in this study (64 years). LA positivity based on a dRVVT or LA-sensitive aPTT was only associated with thrombosis in patients aged less than 65 years (OR, 3.8; 95% CI, 1.3–11.4) and disappeared after adjustment for C-reactive protein. Conclusion: Lupus anticoagulant on admission is strongly associated with thrombosis in critically ill patients with COVID-19, especially in patients aged less than 65 years.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12809
JournalResearch and practice in thrombosis and haemostasis
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022


  • COVID-19
  • critically ill
  • lupus anticoagulant
  • risk factor
  • thrombosis

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