International Journal of Legal Medicine
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Postmortem PF4 antibodies confirm a rare case of thrombosis thrombocytopenia syndrome associated with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 anti-COVID vaccination

Publication Date Oct 27, 2022

Abstract

We report a case of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, bilateral adrenal hemorrhage, and thrombocytopenia in a 70-year-old man found dead. He had previously received the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (Vaxzevria®, AstraZeneca) 18days before, and had since developed unspecific and undiagnosed characteristics of what proved to be a rare case of vaccine-associated thrombocytopenia with thrombosis syndrome (TTS). He was found dead 1week after the beginning of symptoms (day 25 post-vaccine). Autopsy yielded venous hemorrhagic infarction with the presence of thrombi within dural venous sinuses, and extensive hemorrhagic necrosis of the central part of the adrenal glands. Antibodies against platelet factor 4 (PF4) were strongly positive in postmortem fluids, as measured with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). This difficult diagnosis is usually made during the patient's lifetime. After eliminating differential diagnoses, we concluded on a fatal case of vaccine-induced immune TTS with positive anti-PF4 antibodies in cadaveric blood, 3weeks after ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccination. Specific search for anti-PF4 antibodies in cadaveric blood appears therefore paramount to assess postmortem cases of TTS associated with anti-COVID vaccines.

Concepts

Cadaveric Blood ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 Vaccine Bilateral Adrenal Hemorrhage Dural Venous Sinuses anti-PF4 Antibodies Platelet Factor 4 Postmortem Fluids Presence Of Thrombi Case Of Thrombosis

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