Introduction:Among various proposed pathologic mechanisms during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, overproduction of autoantibodies is not widely studied. Antiphospholipid antibodies (aPLs) are target proteins that have affinity toward charged phospholipids. APLs are thought to have pro-thrombotic potentials that increase during thromboembolism. The present systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the relationship between serum aPLs level and COVID-19 mortality, severity, and thrombotic events.
Methods: This systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted on all open access published articles in Medline, Scopus and Google Scholar. Studies evaluating individuals over the age of 18 years who were diagnosed with COVID-19 and had positive aPLs; and provided data on mortality or thrombotic events were included.
Results: Of the initially identified 512 articles, 22 studies (overall 1462 patients) were finally included in the analysis. The prevalence of positive aPLs was 48.1%. Among the 372 patients with positive aPLs, 156 patients (41.9%) had severe COVID-19 that indicated a significant relationship between COVID-19 severity and aPLs positivity (p<0.05). The prevalence of thrombotic events in aPLs positive patients was 26.3% that indicated a significant relationship between aPLs positivity and the development of thrombotic events (p=0.03). APLs positivity was related to anytime mortality in COVID-19 patients (p=0.01).
Conclusion: The present review demonstrated that aPLs are linked to COVID-19 severity and thrombotic events but not short-term mortality. Further studies with longer follow up periods are warranted.