Case Report | Volume 18: 8 | 13 Mar 2023

COVID-19 related acute limb ischaemia: A case series


COVID-19 infection or vaccination is rarely associated with arterial occlusive disease of the extremities. The surgical department of a hospital in Johor, Malaysia, recorded a significant increase in the number of COVID-19-related acute limb ischaemia when the rates of COVID-19 were high both locally and internationally. The clinical presentation and management of acute limb ischaemia associated with COVID-19 infection or vaccination are largely underreported in Johor. Herein, we report a case series of 12 patients managed with strategies ranging from purely anticoagulation to catheter-directed thrombolysis and surgical embolectomy. This case series describes the clinical presentation, risk profiles, treatment approaches and limb outcomes of the patients. The amputation rate was high in view of unfavourable factors, including delayed presentation, high-risk factors and severe COVID-19. Three cases of potential COVID-19 vaccine-related acute limb ischaemia were included. COVID-19-related acute limb ischaemia can be minimised with heightened alert, preemptive optimisation with proper hydration and consideration for early prophylactic anticoagulation in high-risk cases.