Year : 2022  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 302-306

COVID-19 and clotting: A wave of acute limb ischemia

Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery and Interventional Radiology, Care Hospital, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Correspondence Address:
Prem Chand Gupta
Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery and Interventional Radiology, Care Hospital, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, Telangana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijves.ijves_47_22

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Introduction: A surge in the number of patients with acute limb ischemia (ALI) was seen during the first and second waves of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. This has been ascribed to the hypercoagulable state seen in COVID infections. The aim of this study is to report our experience and outcomes of ALI associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Materials and Methods: It was a single-center observational retrospective study from a prospectively maintained database of patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection presenting with ALI between July 2020 and December 2020 with 1-year follow-up. Results: Thirty-nine acutely ischemic limbs were treated in 32 patients including three upper limbs. The mean age of patients was 55.75 (range: 27–80). There were 23 (71.87%) males and 9 (28.12%) females. Majority of the limbs were in Class IIB of ALI, whereas 20.51% had irreversible ischemia. Of the 39 affected limbs in 32 patients, 22 limbs were revascularized, 9 had primary amputation, and 8 were managed conservatively with anticoagulation. The overall limb salvage was 26 out of 39 limbs (66.7%), whereas it was 81.8% for the limbs that had an intervention. The overall mortality was 9.4%. There was no further limb loss or mortality during 1-year follow-up. Interestingly, 15 patients did not have any symptoms suggestive of SARS-CoV-2 infection other than ALI. The severity of COVID infection did not correlate with the severity of ALI. Conclusion: COVID-19 infection can be associated with arterial thrombosis and ALI, which, if treated early with appropriate intervention, can result in a satisfactory limb salvage rate. Prophylactic anticoagulation in COVID-19-infected patients may not prevent arterial thrombosis, and the clinical severity of the COVID-19 infection is not a predictor of arterial thrombosis.

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