An unusual case of long COVID has resulted in a man’s legs turning blue after 10 minutes of standing.
The 33-year-old patient has developed a condition called acrocyanosis, which is when leg veins don’t allow blood to flow back up to the heart and instead collect in a pool.
A minute after standing, his legs begin to redden and then become increasingly blue over time as his veins become more prominent. An itchy sensation then develops.
They go back to normal after two minutes of sitting or lying down.
The patient started to experience the condition after catching COVID. It also saw him diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), which causes an abnormal increase in heart rate when standing.
His case has been documented in new research published in the Lancet journal.
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.
He added: “Patients experiencing this may not be aware that it can be a symptom of long COVID and may feel concerned about what they are seeing.
“Similarly, clinicians may not be aware of the link between acrocyanosis and long COVID.”
A number of long COVID symptoms have been observed since research into the condition began.
It affects multiple systems in the body – including the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for regulating blood pressure and heart rate.
It can also impact 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.