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COVID-19, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been shown to cause multisystemic damage. We undertook a systematic literature review and comprehensive analysis of a total of 55 articles on arterial and venous thromboembolism in COVID-19 and articles on previous pandemics with respect to thromboembolism and compared the similarities and differences between them. The presence of thrombosis in multiple organ systems points to thromboembolism being an integral component in the pathogenesis of this disease. Thromboembolism is likely to be the main player in the morbidity and mortality of COVID -19 in which the pulmonary system is most severely affected. We also hypothesize that D-dimer values could be used as an early marker for prognostication of disease as it has been seen to be raised even in the pre-symptomatic stage. This further strengthens the notion that thromboembolism prevention is necessary. We also examined literature on the neurovascular and cardiovascular systems, as the manifestation of thromboembolic phenomenon in these two systems varied, suggesting different pathophysiology of damage. Further research into the role of thromboembolism in COVID-19 is important to advance the understanding of the virus, its effects and to tailor treatment accordingly to prevent further casualties from this pandemic.

Original publication




Journal article


J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis

Publication Date





COVID-19, Cardiovascular disease, D-dimer, Immunothrombosis, Neurovascular disease, Thromboembolism, Arterial Occlusive Diseases, COVID-19, Cerebrovascular Disorders, Fibrinolytic Agents, Humans, Prognosis, Pulmonary Embolism, Risk Assessment, Risk Factors, Venous Thromboembolism, Venous Thrombosis