When Werfen launched a new chemiluminescent assay for ADAMTS13 on the ACL AcuStar system in September 2019, no-one could have predicted its potential use as a disease severity predictor in a pandemic situation, just months later. In fact, even if the pandemic had been predicted, and a thrombotic element to the disease in the worse effected patients suspected, we might have anticipated a typical Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC) to be apparent.
As patients with COVID-19 started to appear, needing hospitalisation, we did see an increase in D-dimer testing and laboratories looking for the signs of DIC following on from reports in China and other countries. As a response, Werfen significantly increased production of D-dimer assay kits and have been keeping our customers, and some new customers, supplied across the globe. D-dimer has been highlighted in many publications as a predictive tool.
As we learn more about the disease, it is interesting to see attention focused on other markers, which raise questions about the thrombotic nature of these severe COVID-19 complications. Should we now start to look more in depth at the mechanism of thrombosis?
Recent studies have indicated a possible role for ADAMTS13 testing in predicting mortality for COVID-19 patients. Publications, like the one below, are starting to emerge showing low levels of ADAMTS13 in patients with poor prognosis. We watch with interest as more information is made public and assessment is made as to the mechanism leading to these reduced levels.
Werfen will continue to work with our customers and support their research into the relevance of ADAMTS13 levels and support our ACL AcuStar customers in providing a testing service to aid in the fight against COVID-19.
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