Saudi J Gastroenterol. 2020 Aug 5. doi: 10.4103/sjg.SJG_239_20. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND/AIMS: We aimed to evaluate the distribution of abnormal liver-related biomarkers in patients with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and explore the prognostic value of elevated liver enzymes and abnormal liver synthetic capacity with regards to patient mortality.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: This retrospective observational study included 80 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases. Data were collected from the electronic medical record system by a trained team of physicians. Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), total bilirubin (TB), albumin, and prealbumin levels at admission and on day 7 after admission were collected. The primary outcome of the current study was patient mortality.
RESULTS: Abnormal ALT, AST, TB, albumin, and prealbumin levels were observed in 11 (13.8%), 15 (18.8%), 5 (6.3%), 22 (27.5%), and 31 (38.8%) patients, respectively. Male gender correlated with elevated ALT and AST levels (p = 0.027 and 0.036, respectively). Higher levels of AST and lower levels of albumin and prealbumin were associated with patient mortality (p = 0.009, 0.002, and 0.003, respectively). Multivariate Cox regression analysis identified patient age (p = 0.013, HR 1.108) and prealbumin levels (p = 0.015, HR 0.986) as independent predictors for patient mortality. However, changes in liver-related biomarkers were not associated with poor outcome in multivariate analysis (p > 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Abnormalities in albumin and prealbumin levels are common among COVID-19 patients and hypoprealbuminemia independently predicts adverse outcome and should be carefully considered in clinical practice. Moreover, changes in liver-related biomarkers is not a salient feature of COVID-19.