Liver Dysfunction and Its Association with the Risk of Death in COVID-19 Patients: A Prospective Cohort Study

Link to article at PubMed

J Clin Transl Hepatol. 2020 Sep 28;8(3):246-254. doi: 10.14218/JCTH.2020.00043. Epub 2020 Aug 20.


Background and Aims: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new respiratory infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (commonly known as SARS-CoV-2) with multiple organ injuries. The aim of this study was to analyze COVID-19-associated liver dysfunction (LD), its association with the risk of death and prognosis after discharge. Methods: Three-hundred and fifty-five COVID-19 patients were recruited. Clinical data were collected from electronic medical records. LD was evaluated and its prognosis was tracked. The association between LD and the risk of death was analyzed. Results: Of the 355 COVID-19 patients, 211 had mild disease, 88 had severe disease, and 51 had critically ill disease. On admission, 223 (62.8%) patients presented with hypoproteinemia, 151(42.5%) with cholestasis, and 101 (28.5%) with hepatocellular injury. As expected, LD was more common in critically ill patients. By multivariate logistic regression, male sex, older age and lymphopenia were three important independent risk factors predicting LD among COVID-19 patients. Risk of death analysis showed that the fatality rate was higher in patients with hypoproteinemia than in those without hypoproteinemia (relative risk=9.471, p<0.01). Moreover, the fatality rate was higher in patients with cholestasis than those without cholestasis (relative risk=2.182, p<0.05). Follow-up observation found that more than one hepatic functional index of two-third patients remained abnormal at 14 days after discharge. Conclusions: LD at early disease stage elevates the risk of death of COVID-19 patients. COVID-19-associated LD does not recover completely by 14 days after discharge.

PMID:33083246 | PMC:PMC7562804 | DOI:10.14218/JCTH.2020.00043

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