New article: Platelet aggregates detected using quantitative phase imaging associate with COVID-19 severity

Christian Klenk, Johanna Erber, David Fresacher, Stefan Röhrl, Manuel Lengl, Dominik Heim, Hedwig Irl, Martin Schlegel, Bernhard Haller, Tobias Lahmer, Klaus Diepold, Sebastian Rasch & Oliver Hayden


The clinical spectrum of acute SARS-CoV-2 infection ranges from an asymptomatic to life-threatening disease. Considering the broad spectrum of severity, reliable biomarkers are required for early risk stratification and prediction of clinical outcomes. Despite numerous efforts, no COVID-19-specific biomarker has been established to guide further diagnostic or even therapeutic approaches, most likely due to insufficient validation, methodical complexity, or economic factors. COVID-19-associated coagulopathy is a hallmark of the disease and is mainly attributed to dysregulated immunothrombosis. This process describes an intricate interplay of platelets, innate immune cells, the coagulation cascade, and the vascular endothelium leading to both micro- and macrothrombotic complications. In this context, increased levels of immunothrombotic components, including platelet and platelet-leukocyte aggregates, have been described and linked to COVID-19 severity.

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