Prevalence of readily detected amyloid blood clots in ‘unclotted’ Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and COVID-19 plasma: a preliminary report

Etheresia Pretorius*, Chantelle Venter, Gert Jacobus Laubscher, Petrus Johannes Lourens, Janami Steenkamp, Douglas B. Kell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Background: Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) is a well-known comorbidity to COVID-19 and coagulopathies are a common accompaniment to both T2DM and COVID-19. In addition, patients with COVID-19 are known to develop micro-clots within the lungs. The rapid detection of COVID-19 uses genotypic testing for the presence of SARS-Cov-2 virus in nasopharyngeal swabs, but it can have a poor sensitivity. A rapid, host-based physiological test that indicated clotting severity and the extent of clotting pathologies in the individual who was infected or not would be highly desirable. Methods: Platelet poor plasma (PPP) was collected and frozen. On the day of analysis, PPP samples were thawed and analysed. We show here that microclots can be detected in the native plasma of twenty COVID-19, as well as ten T2DM patients, without the addition of any clotting agent, and in particular that such clots are amyloid in nature as judged by a standard fluorogenic stain. Results were compared to ten healthy age-matched individuals. Results: In COVID-19 plasma these microclots are significantly increased when compared to the levels in T2DM. Conclusions: This fluorogenic test may provide a rapid and convenient test with 100% sensitivity (P < 0.0001) and is consistent with the recognition that the early detection and prevention of such clotting can have an important role in therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number193
JournalCardiovascular Diabetology
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Amyloid
  • Coagulopathies
  • COVID-19
  • Pathologies


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