PICO Questions and DELPHI Methodology for the Management of Venous Thromboembolism Associated with COVID-19
Antoni Riera-Mestre 1 2 , Luis Jara-Palomares 3 4 , Ramón Lecumberri 5 6 , Javier Trujillo-Santos 7 8 , Enric Grau 9 , Angeles Blanco-Molina 10 , Ana Piera Carbonell 11 , Sonia Jiménez 12 , Manuel Frías Vargas 13 , Mari Paz Fuset 14 , Sergi Bellmunt-Montoya 15 16 17 , Manuel Monreal 8 18 , David Jiménez 4 19 20 , On Behalf Of The Covilax Project
Patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have a higher risk of venous thromboembolic disease (VTE) than patients with other infectious or inflammatory diseases, both as macrothrombosis (pulmonar embolism and deep vein thrombosis) or microthrombosis. However, the use of anticoagulation in this scenario remains controversial.
This is a project that used DELPHI methodology to answer PICO questions related to anticoagulation in patients with COVID-19. The objective was to reach a consensus among multidisciplinary VTE experts providing answers to those PICO questions.
Seven PICO questions regarding patients with COVID-19 responded with a broad consensus:
1. It is recommended to avoid pharmacological thromboprophylaxis in most COVID-19 patients not requiring hospital admission;
2. In most hospitalized patients for COVID-19 who are receiving oral anticoagulants before admission, it is recommended to replace them by low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) at therapeutic doses;
3. Thromboprophylaxis with LMWH at standard doses is suggested for COVID-19 patients admitted to a conventional hospital ward;
4. Standard-doses thromboprophylaxis with LMWH is recommended for COVID-19 patients requiring admission to Intensive Care Unit;
5. It is recommended not to determine D-Dimer levels routinely in COVID-19 hospitalized patients to select those in whom VTE should be suspected, or as a part of the diagnostic algorithm to rule out or confirm a VTE event;
6. It is recommended to discontinue pharmacological thromboprophylaxis at discharge in most patients hospitalized for COVID-19;
7. It is recommended to withdraw anticoagulant treatment after 3 months in most patients with a VTE event associated with COVID-19.
The combination of PICO questions and DELPHI methodology provides a consensus on different recommendations for anticoagulation management in patients with COVID-19.