Ann Neurol. 2022 Jun 10. doi: 10.1002/ana.26431. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: Cerebral venous thrombosis caused by vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT-CVT) is a rare adverse effect of adenovirus-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. In March 2021, after autoimmune pathogenesis of VITT was discovered, treatment recommendations were developed. These comprised immunomodulation, non-heparin anticoagulants, and avoidance of platelet transfusion. The aim of this study was to evaluate adherence to these recommendations and its association with mortality.
METHODS: We used data from an international prospective registry of patients with CVT after adenovirus-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. We analyzed possible, probable or definite VITT-CVT cases included until 18 January 2022. Immunomodulation entailed administration of intravenous immunoglobulins and/or plasmapheresis.
RESULTS: 99 VITT-CVT patients from 71 hospitals in 17 countries were analyzed. Five of 38 (13%), 11/24 (46%), and 28/37 (76%) of patients diagnosed in March, April, and from May onwards, respectively, were treated in-line with VITT recommendations (p<0.001). Overall, treatment according to recommendations had no statistically significant influence on mortality (14/44 (32%) vs 29/55 (52%), adjusted OR 0.43 (95%CI 0.16-1.19)). However, patients who received immunomodulation had lower mortality (19/65 (29%) vs 24/34 (70%), adjusted OR 0.19 (95%CI 0.06-0.58)). Treatment with non-heparin anticoagulants instead of heparins was not associated with lower mortality (17/51 (33%) vs 13/35 (37%), adjusted OR 0.70 (95%CI 0.24-2.04)). Mortality was also not significantly influenced by platelet transfusion (17/27 (63%) vs 26/72 (36%), adjusted OR 2.19 (95%CI 0.74-6.54)).
CONCLUSIONS: In VITT-CVT patients, adherence to VITT treatment recommendations improved over time. Immunomodulation seems crucial for reducing mortality of VITT-CVT. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.