Vanderbilt University Medical Center investigators are using imaging and diagnostic pathology to examine postmortem hearts donated by victims of COVID-19. They are looking for blood clots, vascular damage and inflammation to gain a better understanding of how the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 affects the heart.
Meghan Kapp, MD
“We were hearing anecdotal stories and reports from other centers that individuals with COVID-19 suffer from hypercoagulability, microthrombi (clots in the small blood vessels), and inflammation of the blood vessel wall,” said Meghan Kapp, MD, assistant professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology. “I can examine blood vessels under the microscope, but getting a tissue biopsy is invasive, so I tried to think of another way to look for microinfarcts (caused by clots) or bleeds that might explain the clinical presentation of these patients.”