Rationales and Uncertainties for Aspirin Use in COVID-19: a Narrative Review
OBJECTIVES: To review the pathophysiology of COVID-19 disease, potential aspirin targets on this pathogenesis and the potential role of aspirin in patients with COVID-19.
DESIGN: Narrative review.
SETTING: The online databases PubMed, OVID Medline and Cochrane Library were searched using relevant headlines from 1 January 2016 to 1 January 2021. International guidelines from relevant societies, journals and forums were also assessed for relevance.
PARTICIPANTS: Not applicable.
RESULTS: A review of the selected literature revealed that clinical deterioration in COVID-19 is attributed to the interplay between endothelial dysfunction, coagulopathy and dysregulated inflammation. Aspirin has anti-inflammatory effects, antiplatelet aggregation, anticoagulant properties as well as pleiotropic effects on endothelial function. During the COVID-19 pandemic, low-dose aspirin is used effectively in secondary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, prevention of venous thromboembolism after total hip or knee replacement, prevention of pre-eclampsia and postdischarge treatment for multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children. Prehospital low-dose aspirin therapy may reduce the risk of intensive care unit admission and mechanical ventilation in hospitalised patients with COVID-19, whereas aspirin association with mortality is still debatable.
CONCLUSION: The authors recommend a low-dose aspirin regimen for primary prevention of arterial thromboembolism in patients aged 40-70 years who are at high atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk, or an intermediate risk with a risk-enhancer and have a low risk of bleeding. Aspirin's protective roles in COVID-19 associated with acute lung injury, vascular thrombosis without previous cardiovascular disease and mortality need further randomised controlled trials to establish causal conclusions.
Sayed Ahmed, H. A., Merrell, E., Ismail, M., Joudeh, A. I., Riley, J. B., Shawkat, A., Habeb, H., Darling, E., Goweda, R. A., Shehata, M. H., Amin, H., Nieman, G. F., & Aiash, H. (2021). Rationales and Uncertainties for Aspirin Use in COVID-19: a Narrative Review. Family Medicine and Community Health, 9 (2), 000741-000741. https://doi.org/10.1136/fmch-2020-000741