Side effects from SARS-CoV-2 vaccination?
Vaccines are currently used around the world to combat COVID-19, which can have various side effects. Many of them are rather harmless, but the AstraZeneca vaccine, for example, has already been linked several times with a so-called vaccine-induced immunothrombotic thrombocytopenia. How this arises, how it can be diagnosed and how it can be treated successfully has been investigated by experts at the University Hospital Tübingen in several studies.
Most of the side effects of the vaccines against COVID-19 are harmless, but in rare cases serious or even fatal side effects can occur. With respect to the AstraZeneca vaccine, the development of thrombotic events known as vaccine-induced immunothrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) is one such serious side effect.
Detect vaccine-induced thrombosis at an early stage
The VITT is a newly defined syndrome that contributes to the formation of clots in the body that affect, for example, brain or abdominal vessels and contribute to a reduced number of blood platelets. The researchers emphasize that it is extremely important for the success of a given treatment that the so-called vaccine-induced thrombosis is diagnosed at an early stage.
The first guidelines already exist
Shortly after the new syndrome was identified, the research group, with the participation of experts from Tübingen University Hospital, was able to draw up the first important guidelines for diagnosis, identification and treatment in order to help those affected. The associated study was published in the English-language journal “Journal of Thrombosis and Hemostasis“Published.
Problems with VITT diagnosis
The vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia must be clinically diagnosed immediately, whereby it is necessary to carry out special tests in the laboratory. The problem here is that exactly these tests can only be carried out in a few places, reports the research team. The Center for Clinical Transfusion Medicine (ZKT) in Tübingen has already established these tests in its associated laboratory and also offers the tests to other hospitals and medical care centers.
How is VITT created?
In the treatment of people who developed thrombotic events after vaccination against SARS-CoV-2, the researchers observed how antibody-mediated activation of blood platelets contributes to the development of vaccine-induced immunothrombotic thrombocytopenia. In further investigations it was found that it is possible to inhibit the activation of the blood platelets by means of immunoglobulin therapy. This is a very important finding for those affected.
Thrombosis after vaccination?
The research group around Dr. Karina Althaus subjected a total of eight people, five of whom were women and three men, to a detailed examination. Participants ranged in age from 24 to 53 years and all had developed vaccine-induced immunothrombotic thrombocytopenia within six to 20 days of their SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. In the study, the researchers were able to demonstrate that antibody-mediated platelet activation is involved in the pathogenesis of VITT. The results of the research were published in the English-language journal “Haematologica” released.
This allows platelets to increase quickly
In a subsequent research work, the experts then examined the effectiveness of immunoglobulin therapy in people with vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia. The researchers found that it is possible to increase the number of platelets quickly and at the same time through immunoglobulin therapy combined with anticoagulation to reduce so-called coagulation activation. This did not increase the risk of cerebral hemorrhage.
The results of the investigation were published in the English-language journal “Blood“Published. In summary, it can be said that the experts recommend the use of immunoglobulin therapy to treat people with VITT. However, the VITT must first be recognized for this. (as)
Author and source information
This text complies with the requirements of specialist medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.
- Ishac Nazy, Ulrich J. Sachs, Donald M. Arnold, Steven E. McKenzie, Phil Choi et al.: Recommendations for the clinical and laboratory diagnosis of VITT against COVID-19: Communication from the ISTH SSC Subcommittee on Platelet Immunology, in Journal of Thrombosis and Hemostasis (veröffentlicht 22.05.2021), Journal of Thrombosis and Hemostasis
- Karina Althaus, Peter Möller, Günalp Uzun, Anurag Singh, Annika Beck et al.: Antibody-mediated procoagulant platelets in SARS-CoV-2- vaccination associated immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia, in Haematologica (veröffentlicht 20.05.2021), Haematologica
- Günalp Uzun, Karina Althaus, Anurag Singh, Peter Möller, Ulf Ziemann et al.: The use of intravenous immunoglobulin in the treatment of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia, in Blood (veröffentlicht 24.06.2021), Blood
This article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.