Soluble Urokinase Plasminogen Activator Receptor and Venous Thromboembolism in COVID-19

on behalf of the ISIC (International Study of Inflammation in COVID-19) Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) contributes significantly to COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. The urokinase receptor system is involved in the regulation of coagulation. Levels of soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) reflect hyperinflammation and are strongly predictive of outcomes in COVID-19. Whether suPAR levels identify patients with COVID-19 at risk for VTE is unclear. METHODS AND RESULTS: We leveraged a multinational observational study of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 with suPAR and D-dimer levels measured on admission. In 1960 patients (mean age, 58 years; 57% men; 20% Black race), we assessed the association between suPAR and incident VTE (defined as pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis) using logistic regression and Fine-Gray modeling, accounting for the competing risk of death. VTE occurred in 163 (8%) patients and was associated with higher suPAR and D-dimer levels. There was a positive association between suPAR and D-dimer (β=7.34; P=0.002). Adjusted for clinical covariables, including D-dimer, the odds of VTE were 168% higher comparing the third with first suPAR tertiles (adjusted odds ratio, 2.68 [95% CI, 1.51– 4.75]; P<0.001). Findings were consistent when stratified by D-dimer levels and in survival analysis accounting for death as a competing risk. On the basis of predicted probabilities from random forest, a decision tree found the combined D-dimer <1 mg/L and suPAR <11 ng/mL cutoffs, identifying 41% of patients with only 3.6% VTE probability. CONCLUSIONS: Higher suPAR was associated with incident VTE independently of D-dimer in patients hospitalized for COVID-19. Combining suPAR and D-dimer identified patients at low VTE risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere025198
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 20 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor
  • thromboembolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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