Startling Discovery: Blue Leg Symptom Unveiled in Long Covid Patients

Correspondent Correspondent
Wednesday, August 16, 2023
Startling Discovery: Blue Leg Symptom Unveiled in Long Covid Patients
New Study Uncovers Unusual 'Blue Leg' Symptom in Long Covid Patients.
Long Covid, also known as post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), continues to puzzle scientists and medical experts due to its wide range of unpredictable symptoms. A recent scientific study published in The Lancet Journal has shed light on a perplexing new symptom - the discoloration of patients' legs to blue after standing for just 10 minutes. This unexpected discovery adds to the growing list of physical and neurological symptoms associated with the prolonged effects of Covid-19.

The research revealed that certain Long Covid patients exhibited a significant change in the color of their legs, turning from a normal hue to a bluish tint within a mere 10 minutes of standing. These observations were reported by patients participating in a comprehensive study aimed at understanding the enduring impacts of Covid-19 on health.

The medical term for this phenomenon is "dependent rubor," a condition linked to compromised blood circulation. When individuals stand upright, gravity causes blood to pool in their legs. However, the body's circulatory system faces challenges in pumping the pooled blood back up, leading to a buildup of blood in the lower limbs.

Consequently, the legs may appear blue or purple due to reduced oxygen levels. Patients also reported additional symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, and even fainting. These could potentially be related to postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), a disorder affecting blood flow and causing an increased heart rate upon standing.

The study highlighted the case of a 33-year-old man who experienced a condition called acrocyanosis, where blood accumulated in the leg veins. Shortly after assuming an upright position, his legs turned reddish, gradually transitioning to a deep blue over time. The veins became more prominent, as noted in the study conducted by experts from the University of Leeds, UK.

Manoj Sivan, the study's lead author and associate clinical professor at the university's School of Medicine, described the case as a remarkable instance of acrocyanosis in a patient who had never encountered it before contracting Covid-19. Acrocyanosis has previously been associated with children displaying dysfunction in the autonomic nervous system, a common trait in post-viral syndromes.

Earlier research conducted by Sivan's team demonstrated that both dysautonomia and POTS frequently manifest in individuals dealing with Long Covid. Dysautonomia is also observed in other chronic conditions such as Fibromyalgia and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or ME, both of which affect muscles and induce pain.

The researchers emphasized the importance of raising awareness about this particular symptom among those affected by Long Covid. According to Sivan, greater awareness of dysautonomia in the context of long Covid is crucial to equipping clinicians with the necessary tools to manage patients effectively.