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Acute Lower-Extremity Ischemia in a Patient with COVID-19

Hadia Ahmad, Swhaeb M. Shubair, James Kruer, Chehada Anthony Hatoum

(Department of Internal Medicine, Northeast Georgia Medical Center, Gainesville, GA, USA)

Am J Case Rep 2021; 22:e928471

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.928471


BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which has become a global pandemic. The typical symptoms are fever, cough, and shortness of breath, but the disease can present with atypical signs, including those associated with a hypercoagulable state. These signs include deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, ischemic stroke, and acute coronary syndrome. Herein, we present the case of acute bilateral lower-extremity ischemia as a thromboembolic complication in a patient with COVID-19.
CASE REPORT: A 76-year-old woman presented with acute bilateral lower-extremity ulcerations covered with eschar formation of several weeks’ duration. During her hospital course, she underwent a test for COVID-19 and the result was positive. An angiogram of the patient’s lower extremities showed occlusions of the right distal posterior tibial artery, right mid-distal anterior tibial artery, right dorsalis pedis artery, left mid-distal anterior tibial artery, left dorsalis pedis artery, and left popliteal vein. Tissue plasminogen activator was administered to treat the occlusions. On the following day, the patient had an acute decline in her neurologic state and was emergently intubated. A computed tomography scan of the brain confirmed a subarachnoid hemorrhage requiring reversal of tissue plasminogen activator. The patient was transitioned to comfort care and ultimately died.
CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, acute limb ischemia should be acknowledged as a rare complication associated with COVID-19. It is important to raise awareness of arterial thrombosis as a possible complication of the hypercoagulable state caused by SARS-CoV-2 because prompt recognition is essential for early diagnosis and treatment. These actions could have a significant impact on patients’ overall outcome.

This paper has been published under Creative Common Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) allowing to download articles and share them with others as long as they credit the authors and the publisher, but without permission to change them in any way or use them commercially.
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