Liver involvement is not associated with mortality: results from a large cohort of SARS-CoV-2 positive patients

Link to article at PubMed

Romana Ponziani F, et al. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2020.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is frequently associated with liver tests abnormalities.

AIMS: To describe the evolution of liver involvement during SARS-CoV-2 infection and its effect on clinical course and mortality.

METHODS: Data of 515 SARS-CoV-2 positive patients were collected at baseline and during follow-up, last evaluation or death. Stratification based on need for hospitalization, severe disease and admission to intensive care unit (ICU) was performed. The association between liver tests abnormalities (baseline and peak values) and ICU admission or death was also explored.

RESULTS: Liver tests abnormalities were found in 161 (31.3%) patients. Aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT) were increased in 20.4%, 19% and 13.6% of patients, respectively. Baseline liver tests abnormalities were associated with increased risk of ICU admission (OR 2.19 [95%CI 1.24-3.89], p=0.007) but not with mortality (OR 0.84 [95%CI 0.49-1.41], p=0.51). Conversely, ALP peak values were correlated with the risk of death (OR 1.007 [95%CI 1.002-1.01], p=0.005) along with age, multiple comorbidities, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), ICU admission, and C-reactive protein. Alterations of liver tests worsened within 15 days after hospitalization; however, in patients with the longest median follow-up, the prevalence of liver tests alterations decreased over time, returning similar to that of baseline.

CONCLUSIONS: In SARS-CoV-2 positive patients without pre-existing severe chronic liver disease, baseline liver tests abnormalities are associated with the risk of ICU admission and tend to normalize over time. ALP peak value seems to be predictive of a worse prognosis.

PMID:32628793 | DOI:10.1111/apt.15996

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