Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2020 Aug 28. doi: 10.1080/17474124.2020.1816822. Online ahead of print.
Introduction Coronavirus disease 2019(COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2(SARS-CoV-2) has rapidly spread world over causing morbidity and mortality in affected patients, especially elderly and those with co-morbidities. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) patients frequently require immunosuppressive therapy are known to be at risk of opportunistic infections. Areas covered We hereby review the available literature pertaining to COVID-19 in IBD based on published consensus guidelines, expert opinions, case series, registries and reports. Expert opinion Preliminary data suggests no increase in incidence of COVID-19 in IBD patients as compared to general population. Morbidity and mortality rates attributable to COVID-19 are also similar in IBD patients as compared to general population. Though exact reason is unknown, some aspects of COVID -19 pathogenesis may explain this paradox. Medications for IBD need to be carefully reviewed during COVID-19 crisis. Steroids may need dose tapering or substitution to avoid complications based on anecdotal evidence. Endoscopic procedures for IBD maybe deferred unless absolutely necessary. General measures recommended for COVID-19 tailored to specific needs of IBD patients maybe the best way to prevent infection. Our understanding of the disease outcomes and optimal management protocols are likely to evolve as we move ahead in this pandemic.