Treatment of Long COVID symptoms with triple anticoagulant therapy

Laubscher, Gert, Khan, Asad ORCID: 0000-0003-1838-9002, Venter, Chantelle, Pretorius, Jan, Kell, Douglas ORCID: 0000-0001-5838-7963 and Pretorius, Etheresia
(2023) Treatment of Long COVID symptoms with triple anticoagulant therapy. [Preprint]

[img] PDF
Treatment of Long COVID symptoms with triple anticoagulant therapy.pdf - Preprint version

Download (3MB) | Preview


<h4>Background: </h4> Fibrin(ogen) amyloid microclots and platelet hyperactivation are key pathological findings in patients with acute COVID-19 infection and also in those with Long COVID/Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC). These pathologies may represent a suitable target for pharmacological treatment of Long COVID. <h4>Methods: </h4>: Here we report on the symptoms displayed by a cohort of 91 South African Long COVID patients at baseline and after a clinician-initiated anticoagulant regime was completed. For laboratory analysis, patients provided a blood sample before and after treatment. Fibrinaloid microclot presence was studied by adding thioflavin T to platelet poor plasma (PPP), whilst platelet hyperactivation was studied using two platelet markers- PAC1 and CD62P (P-selectin). The anticoagulant regime included dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT- Clopidogrel 75mg + Aspirin 75mg) once a day, and a direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC- Apixaban) 5mg twice a day. A proton pump inhibitor (PPI) pantoprazole 40 mg/day was also prescribed for gastric protection. Each of the treated cases reported their main Long COVID symptoms, and whether their symptoms resolved following treatment or not. <h4>Results: </h4>: In our cohort a most participants did not report any comorbidities before acute COVID-19 infection. Hypertension and dyslipidaemia were the commonest underlying illnesses, whilst the most commonly reported Long COVID symptoms included fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, shortness of breath, and joint and muscle pains. Following completion of treatment, each of the different symptoms resolved in the majority of patients. This was also reflected in the laboratory analysis, where a decrease in the severity of fibrin amyloid microclotting and the degree of platelet pathology was noted. No serious adverse bleeding events were reported. <h4>Conclusions: </h4>: Fibrin amyloid microclots, platelet hyperactivation/ aggregation, and widespread endothelialitis inhibit the transport of oxygen at a capillary/cellular level. This provides a ready explanation for the symptoms of Long COVID. By normalizing the failed clotting physiology and reversal of the endothelialitis, triple anticoagulant therapy represents a promising treatment option that appears to be highly efficacious, and warrants controlled clinical studies. We caution that such a regime must only be followed under expert medical supervision in view of the risk of bleeding.

Item Type: Preprint
Uncontrolled Keywords: Clinical Research, Hematology, 6.1 Pharmaceuticals, 6 Evaluation of treatments and therapeutic interventions, Blood, Cardiovascular
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Systems, Molecular and Integrative Biology
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2023 10:01
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2024 12:41
DOI: 10.21203/
Related URLs: