Doctors want to warn of an unusual symptom observed in a patient with long covid: his legs took on a bluish tint when he stood up.
- A case study reveals that the legs of a patient with long covid turn blue when standing. This disorder is called acrocyanosis.
- The study also sheds light on a link between long covid and dysautonomia.
- For the authors of the article, it is important to sensitize patients with long covid and doctors to these two disorders.
A 33-year-old patient who suffered from long-lasting covid consulted doctors for a particularly intriguing symptom. His legs took on a bluish color as soon as he stood for more than a few minutes. His case is the subject of an article published in the journal Tea Lancet on August 12, 2023.
Acrocyanosis: an unrecognized symptom of covid long
The Briton’s legs changed color as soon as he stood up. If they started blushing, fairly quickly they turned blue and then purple. The veins also appeared more prominent. After about ten minutes in this position, the patient also felt itchy. The lower limbs returned to normal color two minutes after the patient sat up. During the examination, the man clarified that he started having this discoloration on his legs after his covid-19 infection.
The doctor Sivan from the University of Leeds who participated in this study, told the press: “This was a striking case of acrocyanosis in a patient who had not experienced it prior to his infection with COVID-19“. This disease had previously been observed in children with dysautonomia, but this is the first reported case in an adult affected by long covid.
covid long and acrocyanosis: a link to dysautonomia
The patient had also been diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, a condition characterized by an abnormal increase in heart rate while standing, two months earlier. Faced with these various disorders, the doctors determined that the man suffered from dysautonomia secondary to an infection by the SARS-CoV-2 And associated to a long covid.
It is a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system which regulates automatic bodily functions. In this case, it is responsible for the accumulation of venous blood in the legs, leading to acrocyanosis.
“We recommended that he increase his fluid intake, increase his salt intake and do muscle-strengthening exercises”say the authors in their article.
covid long : need for increased awareness
For Dr. Sivanit is important to make patients aware of the risk of acrocyanosis after infection with SARS-CoV-2. “Patients who suffer from it may not know that it can be a symptom of long covid and dysautonomia.”
He added in a statement: “we need to make sure there is more awareness of dysautonomia in long covid cases so doctors have the tools they need to manage patients appropriately“. Indeed, if the symptoms of acrocyanosis and dysautonomia are misunderstood and underdiagnosed, this can lead to difficulties in management for patients.