Unexpected find in COVID patients’ autopsies
Autopsies identified blood clots in "almost every organ" of coronavirus victims, according to a top New York City pathologist, who called the results "dramatic."
Early on, doctors found blood clots "in lines and various large vessels" of COVID-19 patients, Dr Amy Rapkiewicz, chairman of the department of pathology at NYU Langone Medical Center, told CNN on Thursday.
But then autopsies showed the damage was far worse.
"The clotting was not only in the large vessels but also in the smaller vessels," Dr Rapkiewicz said.
"And this was dramatic because though we might have expected it in the lungs, we found it in almost every organ that we looked at in our autopsy study."
The autopsies also revealed that large bone marrow cells called megakaryocytes - which typically don't travel outside the bone and lungs - circulated to other parts of the body.
"We found them in the heart and the kidneys and the liver and other organs," Dr Rapkiewicz said.
"Notably in the heart, megakaryocytes produce something called platelets that are intimately involved in blood clotting."
The findings are similar to those in April, when doctors at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan spotted signs of blood thickening and clotting in different organs.
Dr Rapkiewicz said myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart, wasn't detected in the autopsies, though the condition was initially suspected in the early days of the coronavirus outbreak.
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission.
Originally published as Unexpected find in patients' autopsies