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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


A 47-Year-Old Hispanic Man Who Developed Cutaneous Vasculitic Lesions and Gangrene of the Toes Following Admission to Hospital with COVID-19 Pneumonia

Unusual clinical course, Challenging differential diagnosis

Riliwan Adekiigbe, Franklin Ugbode, Sunil Seoparson, Neeraj Katriyar, Alan Fetterman

USA Department of Internal Medicine, Long Island Community Hospital, Patchogue, NY, USA

Am J Case Rep 2020; 21:e926886

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.926886

Available online: 2020-09-18

Published: 2020-10-01


BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which originated in Wuhan, China, in late 2019 and has led to an ongoing pandemic. COVID-19 typically affects the respiratory tract and mucous membranes, leading to pathological involvement of various organ systems. Although patients usually present with fever, cough, and fatigue, less common manifestations have been reported including symptoms arising from thrombosis and thromboembolism. A spectrum of dermatologic changes is becoming recognized in patients with COVID-19 who initially present with respiratory symptoms. The mechanism behind these manifestations remains unclear. This report presents the case of a 47-year-old Hispanic man who developed cutaneous vasculitic lesions and gangrene of the toes following admission to hospital with COVID-19 pneumonia.
CASE REPORT: COVID-19 has been associated with cardiovascular disease entities including stroke, acute coronary syndrome, venous thromboembolism, and peripheral vascular disease. We present a case in which a 47-year-old Hispanic man arrived at the Emergency Department with COVID-19 and was admitted for respiratory failure. Despite anticoagulation initiated on admission in the presence of an elevated D-dimer, the patient developed gangrene of all his toes, which required bilateral transmetatarsal amputation.
CONCLUSIONS: This case shows that dermatologic manifestations may develop in patients who initially present with COVID-19 pneumonia. These symptoms may be due to venous thrombosis following SARS-CoV-2 vasculitis, leading to challenging decisions regarding anticoagulation therapy. Randomized controlled trials are needed to evaluate the efficacy of anticoagulation, to choose appropriate anticoagulants and dosing, and to assess bleeding risk.

Keywords: Anticoagulants, Gangrene, Microvessels, Thrombophilia, Venous Thrombosis