Stay up-to-date with all of the life science events taking place in Vancouver with the Science in Vancouver events calendar! From academia to industry and biotech to pharma, our events calendar is your complete source for life science conferences, symposiums, networking, and workshops in Vancouver. We even cover science pub nights and science fundraisers!
If you’re interested in promoting your life science event on the Science in Vancouver events calendar, please use our event submission form.
- This event has passed.
Gamma Fibrinogen and COVID-19; Who Knew?
February 2, 2022
Dr. David Farrell
Professor of Surgery, Oregon Health & Science University
Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Gamma Diagnostics
Introduction: COVID-19 disease progression can be accompanied by a “cytokine storm” that leads to secondary
sequelae such as thrombosis and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Several inflammatory cytokines have been
associated with COVID-19 disease progression, but have far too much daily intra-individual variability to be useful
in tracking the course of the disease. In contrast, we have shown that the inflammatory biomarker γ’ fibrinogen (γ’
Fbg) has a 6-fold lower coefficient of variability compared to other inflammatory markers such as hs-CRP. The aims
of the study were to measure γ’ Fbg in serial blood samples from COVID-19 patients at a tertiary care medical
center in order to investigate its association with clinical measures of disease progression.
Hypothesis: Our hypothesis was that γ’ Fbg levels would be elevated in COVID-19 patients compared to historical
controls, and that the degree of elevation would be associated with disease severity.
Methods: COVID-19 patients at a tertiary care medical center were retrospectively enrolled between 3/16/2020
and 8/1/2020. γ’ Fbg was measured using the GammaCoeur ELISA (Gamma Diagnostics, Patent Pending).
Results: Our results showed that ten out of the eighteen patients with COVID-19 had the highest levels of γ’ Fbg
ever recorded. The previous highest γ’ Fbg level of 80.3 mg/dL was found in a study of 10,601 participants in the
ARIC study. γ’ Fbg levels were significantly associated with the need for ECMO and mortality.
Conclusions: We found that COVID-19 patients can develop extraordinarily high levels of γ’ Fbg. This has several
important clinical implications. γ’ Fbg contains a high affinity binding site for thrombin that binds to anion-binding
exosite II on thrombin and protects it from inactivation by heparin. High levels of γ’ Fbg therefore provide a
reservoir of heparin-resistant clot-bound thrombin when the γ’ Fbg is clotted. These findings have potential
clinical implications regarding prophylactic anticoagulation of COVID-19 patients and suggest that heparin
prophylaxis may be less effective than using other anticoagulants, particularly direct thrombin inhibitors.