Researchers have found a new symptom of Long Covid- as a man's legs turn blue after standing

The patient said he first started to experience the condition after catching Covid-19
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A man's leg turns blue after 10 minutes of standing in an unusual case of long COVID.

New research published in The Lancet shows that the 33-year-old patient developed a condition called acrocyanosis - where leg veins don't allow blood to flow back up to the heart and instead collect in a pool.

After a minute of standing, his legs begin to redden before becoming increasingly blue over time as his veins become more prominent. An itchy sensation then develops.

From left: Patient standing at 2 minutes, and 10 minutes. Credit: University of LeedsFrom left: Patient standing at 2 minutes, and 10 minutes. Credit: University of Leeds
From left: Patient standing at 2 minutes, and 10 minutes. Credit: University of Leeds

His legs return to normal after two minutes of sitting or lying down.

The patient said he first started to experience the condition after catching Covid-19, which also saw him diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) - an abnormal increase in heart rate when standing.

Author Dr Manoj Sivan, from the University of Leeds, said it was important to raise awareness of acrocyanosis being a potential side effect of long Covid-19.

He said: "This was a striking case of acrocyanosis in a patient who had not experienced it before his COVID-19 infection.

Patients experiencing this may not be aware that it can be a symptom of Long Covid and dysautonomia and may feel concerned about what they are seeing. Similarly, clinicians may not be aware of the link between acrocyanosis and Long Covid.

“We need to ensure that there is more awareness of dysautonomia in Long Covid so that clinicians have the tools they need to manage patients appropriately.”

Long Covid symptoms affect multiple systems in the body, such as the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for regulating blood pressure and heart rate.

Also impacted was people's ability to concentrate and perform basic daily activities.

This dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system, called dysautonomia, is seen in other long-term conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome.

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