Vascular Endothelial Glycocalyx Damage in COVID-19

Minako Yamaoka-Tojo
International Journal of Molecular Sciences 21(24):9712, December 2020


The new coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), which is spreading around the world and threatening people, is easily infecting a large number of people through airborne droplets; moreover, patients with hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease are more likely to experience severe conditions. Vascular endothelial dysfunction has been suggested as a common feature of high-risk patients prone to severe COVID-19, and measurement of vascular endothelial function may be recommended for predicting severe conditions in high-risk patients with COVID-19. However, fragmented vascular endothelial glycocalyx (VEGLX) is elevated in COVID-19 patients, suggesting that it may be useful as a prognostic indicator. Although the relationship between VEGLX and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infections has not been well studied, some investigations into COVID-19 have clarified the relationship between VEGLX and the mechanism that leads to severe conditions. Clarifying the usefulness of VEGLX assessment as a predictive indicator of the development of severe complications is important as a strategy for confronting pandemics caused by new viruses with a high affinity for the vascular endothelium that may recur in the future.