DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-1771250 ISSN:

Acute Limb Ischemia in COVID-19: A Systematic Review

Suci Indriani, Mohamed Amshar, Raka Aldy Nugraha, Taofan Siddiq, Suko Adiarto
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Numerous studies have reported cases of acute limb ischemia (ALI) in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), along with a sharp increase of ALI incidence during the COVID-19 pandemic. The objective of this study was to analyze the clinical features, treatment strategies, and outcomes in COVID-19 patients who developed ALI. A systematic search was performed in PubMed, ScienceDirect, and Cochrane to identify relevant articles. Variables of interest included ALI location, ALI and COVID-19 severity, concomitant thrombosis, comorbidities/risk factors, coagulation and inflammatory parameters, therapy, outcome, and cause of death. Data extraction and pooling were conducted by two reviewers. Fifty-six articles with a total of 191 subjects were included in the analysis; 78.5% of the subjects were male; mean age was 64.2 years; 94.2% of cases were ALI de novo; 41.1% of the subjects had ALI stage IIB; 82.7% of ALI occurred in the lower limb. The popliteal artery was the most commonly affected artery (48.2% of subjects); 38.1% of the subjects had severe COVID-19; 11.1% had asymptomatic COVID-19, and 15.9% were post-COVID-19; 50.7% of the subjects had hypertension; 12.0% of the subjects had concomitant thrombosis; 98.1% of the subjects had elevated D-dimer, and 83.3% of the subjects had elevated C-reactive protein; 61.9% of the subjects underwent surgical thromboembolectomy, 21.3% underwent conservative treatment, and 8.1% underwent amputation initially. The overall mortality rate and limb amputation rate were 39.3 and 22.4%, respectively; 67.6% of deaths were due to respiratory failure. Our study supports that COVID-19 is associated with hypercoagulability that may trigger the development of ALI, and that ALI is a possible predictor of poor outcome in COVID-19 patients.

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