New research shows how COVID-19 invades the lining of lung blood vessels and leads to tiny blood clots and injury of the endothelium.

In addition to the infection of the blood vessels and legions of tiny clots, researchers discovered a third phenomenon happening in the blood vessels of patients with COVID-19 that showed how severe their illnesses were.

The vessels blocked by these clots are thinner than the width of a human hair, and they are critical for gas exchange in the lung. With clots choking off the lungs’ blood supply, these tiny vessels seem to make a desperate move, splitting down the middle in an attempt to get blood to these compromised areas — a phenomenon called intussusceptive angiogenesis.

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