Researchers May Have Discovered the Root Cause of Long COVID Syndrome

Blood Clot Illustration

New evidence shows that patients with Long COVID syndrome continue to have higher measures of blood clotting, which may help explain their persistent symptoms, such as reduced physical fitness and fatigue.

The study, led by researchers from RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, is published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

Previous work by the same group studied the dangerous clotting observed in patients with severe acute COVID-19. However, far less is known about Long COVID syndrome, where symptoms can last weeks to months after the initial infection has resolved and is estimated to affect millions of people worldwide.

The researchers examined 50 patients with symptoms of Long COVID syndrome to better understand if abnormal blood clotting is involved.

They discovered that clotting markers were significantly elevated in the blood of patients with Long COVID syndrome compared with healthy controls. These clotting markers were higher in patients who required hospitalization with their initial COVID-19 infection, but they also found that even those who were able to manage their illness at home still had persistently high clotting markers.

The researchers observed that higher clotting was directly related to other symptoms of Long COVID syndrome, such as reduced physical fitness and fatigue. Even though markers of inflammation had all returned to normal levels, this increased clotting potential was still present in Long COVID patients.

“Because clotting markers were elevated while inflammation markers had returned to normal, our results suggest that the clotting system may be involved in the root cause of Long COVID syndrome,” said Dr. Helen Fogarty, the study’s lead author, ICAT Fellow and PhD student at the Irish Centre for Vascular Biology in the RCSI School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences.

This work was funded by the Welcome Trust, the Health Research Board (HRB) Irish Clinical Academic Training (ICAT) programme as well as the HRB-funded Irish COVID-19 Vasculopathy Study (ICVS). The work was also supported by a philanthropic grant from the 3M Foundation to RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences in support of COVID-19 research.

“Understanding the root cause of a disease is the first step toward developing effective treatments,” said Professor James O’Donnell, Director of the Irish Centre for Vascular Biology, RCSI and Consultant Haematologist in the National Coagulation Centre in St James’s Hospital, Dublin.

“Millions of people are already dealing with the symptoms of Long COVID syndrome, and more people will develop Long COVID as the infections among the unvaccinated continue to occur. It is imperative that we continue to study this condition and develop effective treatments.”

Reference: “Persistent Endotheliopathy in the Pathogenesis of Long COVID Syndrome” by Helen Fogarty, Liam Townsend, Hannah Morrin, Azaz Ahmad, Claire Comerford, Ellie Karampini, Hanna Englert, Mary Byrne, Colm Bergin, Jamie M. O’Sullivan, Ignacio Martin-Loeches, Parthiban Nadarajan, Ciaran Bannan, Patrick W. Mallon, Gerard F. Curley, Roger J.S. Preston, Aisling M. Rehill, Dennis McGonagle, Cliona Ni Cheallaigh, Ross I. Baker, Thomas Renné, Soracha E. Ward, James S. O’ Donnell, The Irish COVID-19 Vasculopathy Study (iCVS) investigators, 10 August 2021, Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.
DOI: 10.1111/jth.15490

5 Comments on "Researchers May Have Discovered the Root Cause of Long COVID Syndrome"

  1. “as the infections among the unvaccinated continue to occur” Infections occur whether you are vaccinated or not…

  2. Blood clotting is a side effect to the vaccinations too, not just from contracting COVID, thus, double-edge sword – vaccination + virus.

  3. We are not seeing all the stats in regards to vaccinated contracting the virus, and this data is remaining hidden mostly, to encourage vaccinations; some stats have surfaced outside U.S. and the numbers are much higher. Just in my community alone, already know of 5 people in the last 2-3 weeks who have contracted COVID, fully vaccinated. Like RBK stated above, infections occur whether you are vaccinated or not. This is NOT a concern for unvaccinated alone, but a problem for ALL OF US – we are all virus spreaders. There are many people out there that think just because you are vaccinated you are protected from the virus, and protecting other people, and you are NOT – you spread the virus just like the unvaccinated. Even Dr. Fauci did a speech to state that they tested the viral load in the nasal passages of two patients who had COVID, one vaccinated, one not, and it was about equal. We have to stop pointing the finger at the unvaccinated – whether it be religions reasons, medical reasons, not FDA approved, government or CDC political agenda, short term or long term scary side effects to possible permanent illness or cancer down the road, unvaccinated have legit reasons to be hesitant to move forward, The blood clotting alone that has occurred after a vaccination is administered for some, and also for some who contracted COVID – now this is scary!!

  4. Confusing title!
    Is the blood clotting the root cause – or one of the symptoms?

  5. ANTONIO CARBONELL | September 15, 2021 at 4:25 pm | Reply

    Endotheliopathy may be helped by time-release Vitamin C, to stabilize and smooth out the vascular endothelium while reducing the platelet aggregation that often leads to vascular clotting aggregates

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