The association between markers of liver injury and clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19 in Wuhan

Link to article at PubMed

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2020 Jul 22. doi: 10.1111/apt.15962. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a critical challenge for public health. The effect of COVID-19 on liver injury has not been fully presented.

AIMS: To evaluate the dynamic changes in liver function and the relationship between liver function damage and prognosis in patients with COVID-19.

METHODS: Retrospective analysis of clinical data of 675 patients with COVID-19 in Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University from January 3 to March 8, 2020. Patients were classified as normal, abnormal liver function and liver injury.

RESULTS: Of 675 patients, 253 (37.5%) had abnormal liver function during hospitalisation, and 52 (7.7%) had liver injury. The dynamic changes of ALT and AST levels were more significant in patients with liver injury and in those who died. AST >3-fold ULN had the highest risk of death and mechanical ventilation. Compared to patients with normal AST levels, mortality and risk of mechanical ventilation significantly increased 19.27-fold (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.89-75.97; P < 0.0001) and 116.72-fold (95% CI, 31.58-431.46; P < 0.0001), respectively, in patients with AST above 3-fold ULN. Increased leucocytes, decreased lymphocytes and female sex were independently associated with liver injury.

CONCLUSIONS: The dynamic changes in liver function may have a significant correlation with the severity and prognosis of COVID-19. Increased index of liver injury was closely related to mortality and need for mechanical ventilation. Therefore, these indicators should be closely monitored during hospitalisation.

PMID:32697870 | DOI:10.1111/apt.15962

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