2021 Volume 8 Issue 3

Skin Manifestations as Early Presenting Symptom of COVID-19 in Acute Myeloid Leukemia


Maryam Barkhordar, Seied Asadollah Mousavi, Amirabbas Rashidi, Masoumeh Khataee Khosroshahi, Sahar Tavakoli, Fariba Tahsili
Abstract

Coronavirus infection in 2019 (COVID-19) is an acute respiratory infection caused by a coronavirus, and it has been associated with various organ involvement. However, there are few examples of COVID-19's unusual appearance in newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Through two case reports and a literature review, this report aims to provide an overview of cutaneous characteristics in COVID-19 individuals. In this study, we present two patients with AML who developed a diffuse maculopapular rash as an early indication of COVID-19. Our patients exhibited lung involvement and chest imaging characteristics consistent with COVID-19, as well as similar cutaneous manifestations. However, the COVID-19 RT-PCR became positive only in the first case at once. The various symptoms of COVID-19 are thought to be the result of an overwhelming immune response to coronavirus, which produces acute inflammation and tissue damage such as vasculitis and other skin lesions. Given the strategic importance of early COVID-19 diagnosis, particularly for malignant disorders, it is crucial to address the possibility of COVID-19 presenting with dermatologic manifestations.


How to cite this article
Vancouver
Barkhordar M, Mousavi SA, Rashidi A, Khosroshahi MK, Tavakoli S, Tahsili F. Skin Manifestations as Early Presenting Symptom of COVID-19 in Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Entomol Appl Sci Lett. 2021;8(3):80-4. https://doi.org/10.51847/1iAMD6Vdaj
APA
Barkhordar, M., Mousavi, S. A., Rashidi, A., Khosroshahi, M. K., Tavakoli, S., & Tahsili, F. (2021). Skin Manifestations as Early Presenting Symptom of COVID-19 in Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Entomology and Applied Science Letters, 8(3), 80-84. https://doi.org/10.51847/1iAMD6Vdaj

Skin Manifestations as Early Presenting Symptom of COVID-19 in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

 

Maryam Barkhordar1*, Seied Asadollah Mousavi1, Amirabbas Rashidi1, Masoumeh Khataee Khosroshahi1, Sahar Tavakoli1, Fariba Tahsili1

 

1Hematology-Oncology and BMT Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


ABSTRACT

Coronavirus infection in 2019 (COVID-19) is an acute respiratory infection caused by a coronavirus, and it has been associated with various organ involvement. However, there are few examples of COVID-19's unusual appearance in newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Through two case reports and a literature review, this report aims to provide an overview of cutaneous characteristics in COVID-19 individuals. In this study, we present two patients with AML who developed a diffuse maculopapular rash as an early indication of COVID-19. Our patients exhibited lung involvement and chest imaging characteristics consistent with COVID-19, as well as similar cutaneous manifestations. However, the COVID-19 RT-PCR became positive only in the first case at once. The various symptoms of COVID-19 are thought to be the result of an overwhelming immune response to coronavirus, which produces acute inflammation and tissue damage such as vasculitis and other skin lesions. Given the strategic importance of early COVID-19 diagnosis, particularly for malignant disorders, it is crucial to address the possibility of COVID-19 presenting with dermatologic manifestations.

Keywords: Acute myeloid leukemia, COVID-19, Cutaneous manifestations, Initial presenting symptoms.


INTRODUCTION

 

The occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic caused by a coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is one of the biggest challenges currently facing the medical community with more than 20 million cases worldwide. Numerous studies have reported clinical presentations and outcomes of COVID-19 in previously healthy persons. Also, there are a few reports regarding outcomes or presentation of COVID-19 in patients with a history of malignancy and immunosuppressive therapy [1-3].

There are different opinions about the impact of immunosuppressing drugs and disease on the incidence, manifestations, severity, and outcome of COVID-19 in people with malignant diseases compared to non-malignant.  In a Chinese study, it is reported that COVID-19 patients with cancer had a higher risk of respiratory failure and ICU admission [4]. 

Another study in immunosuppressed post-transplantation patients did not show a higher risk of severe events of COVID-19 [5]. The respiratory tract is the primary site of infection for COVID-19 with symptoms ranging from a flu-like symptom to fulminant pneumonia and respiratory failure [6].

The diagnostic assay for SARS-CoV-2-infection by RT-PCR is a gold standard test for diagnosis of COVID-19 which has high specificity and low sensitivity (30–50%) [7]. While the chest CT positive rate was more than 90% in highly suspected cases [8]. So it was recommended to do a lung CT scan as the main diagnostic and screening basis for COVID-19.

Different organs could be affected by COVID-19. There are few descriptions of the cutaneous manifestations of COVID-19. Skin lesions as a manifestation of COVID-19 have been reported in some case reports and case series [9-11]. Most of the reported skin lesions in COVID-19 are urticarial and maculopapular rash that may have many differential diagnoses, such as drug reactions and other viral infections. Various theories have been proposed about the mechanisms of cutaneous manifestations in COVID-19 infection. These could be the direct effect of COVID-19 or might be indirect complications leading to vascular occlusion or damage [12, 13]. One hypothesis is that immune complexes against the viral particles that appear in the skin blood vessels could lead to a type of vasculitis. Also, it could be postulated that Langerhans cells activation due to immune response to the virus, without the direct involvement of keratinocytes, can lead to vasodilation and spongiosis [14]. The purpose of this article is to report two cases of AML with fever and various cutaneous manifestations as presenting symptoms of COVID-19 and provide a literature review of various cutaneous manifestations in patients with COVID-19.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Patients' demographic, clinical, and laboratory data were gathered from their medical records. Two individuals consented in writing to the use of their data. A review of the literature was conducted to know the documented dermatologic symptoms of COVID-19.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Case-1 

A 56-year-old woman was admitted to the hematology department with pancytopenia an initial diagnosis of acute leukemia. No splenomegaly or lymphadenopathy was detected in clinical examination.

Bone marrow samples were analyzed for morphologic, immunophenotypic, and genetic evaluation, and AML M4 (acute myelomonocytic leukemia) was diagnosed. A normal female karyotype (46, XX) was reported in the routine cytogenetic analysis. Molecular assays were performed, NPM1 mutation and concurrent FLT3-ITD mutation with a low allelic ratio (36%) were detected.

Induction chemotherapy for AML with standard (7 + 3) regimen was started (Cytarabine, 100mg/m2/day in D1-D7 + Idarubicin, 12mg/m2/day in D1-D3). 2 weeks after induction chemotherapy the patient developed prolonged cytopenia, fever, maculopapular rash, and urticaria on the abdomen and legs (Figure 1a). Fever workup was done and empirical antibiotic therapy started. At this time, no positive findings were found in favor of infection in cultures, lung CT scans, and other assessments.

In the following days, the skin lesions progressed as diffuse maculopapular exanthema, palpable purpuric lesions, and hemorrhagic macular rash on the legs which were accompanied by generalized edema, itching, arthralgia, and persistence of neutropenic fever.

After four weeks the imaging was repeated and the second chest CT scan showed bilateral ground-glass and patchy opacities highly suggestive of COVID-19 infection (Figure 1b).

 

 

a)