Acute Ischaemic Enterocolitis Due to a Thrombotic Event in a COVID-19 Patient

Acute Ischaemic Enterocolitis Due to a Thrombotic Event in a COVID-19 Patient

Author Info

Corresponding Author
Montse Adell Trapé
Department of General Surgery, Hospital Universitari Vall d’Hebron, Barcelona, Spain


We describe the case of a COVID-19 patient who developed an intestinal ischaemia with thrombotic origin, confirmed by anatomo-pathological examination. A middle-aged woman affected with COVID-19 was evaluated in March 2020. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to detect SARS-CoV2 was performed. On the 16th day of being hospitalized, she presented with hemodynamic and respiratory impairment. The physical examination revealed abdominal distension. An urgent abdominal CT scan reported signs of pneumatosis in the distal ileum and ascending colon suggestive of ischaemia (Figure 1D), with mural irregularity predominantly in the ileum. An urgent exploratory laparotomy was performed. Ischaemia of the right colon, as well as patched ischaemia of the distal and middle ileum, was found (Figures 2A & 2B). A right hemicolectomy and resection of the distal-middle ileum with a terminal ileostomy were performed. Pathological examination reported: severe ischaemic colitis, with areas of mucosal necrosis and the presence of abundant small-calibre thrombi in the submucosa and medium-caliber vessels of the mesocolon. Re-examination of the CT scan revealed findings consistent with right lower lobe segmental pulmonary embolism, as well as inferior vena cava filling defects consistent with thrombi. COVID-19 is associated with a large and misleading field of complications, including coagulopathy. The combination of viral injury, cytokine release, and damage-associated molecular patterns induce localized microvascular inflammation, which triggers endothelial activation, leading to vasodilation and prothrombotic conditions. We report this case to alert physicians that they should be vigilant for signs of abdominal thromboembolic complications in patients suffering from COVID-19

Article Info

Article Type
Case Report
Publication history
Received: Mon 28, Dec 2020
Accepted: Wed 13, Jan 2021
Published: Mon 25, Jan 2021
© 2021 Montse Adell Trapé. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Hosting by Science Repository. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.31487/j.SCR.2021.01.14