Scand J Gastroenterol. 2020 Oct 29:1-4. doi: 10.1080/00365521.2020.1842489. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: Several studies have reported on liver injury during COVID-19. However, the definition and timing of liver injury is different among the published articles. The aim of the present study is to evaluate whether COVID-19 related liver injury at the time of first presentation is associated with the course of the disease.
METHODS: We conducted a single center retrospective study at Amphia Hospital in Breda, The Netherlands, from February 1 through April 30, 2020. Patients with reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction confirmed COVID-19 were included. We excluded patients with known chronic liver disease, harmful alcohol consumption or patients on certain antibiotics prior to admission. The clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients with and without COVID-19 related liver injury were compared. Liver injury was defined as elevated alanine aminotransferase and/or alkaline phosphatase at the time when the first positive COVID-19 sample was obtained.
RESULTS: We included 382 patients with COVID-19 infection. The incidence of liver injury was 41.6% (n = 159). Being female was associated with liver injury (p < .05). Liver injury was not associated with a more severe course of the disease in terms of hospitalization, length of hospital stay, intensive care unit admission and mortality.
CONCLUSION: COVID-19 related liver injury at the time of diagnosis of COVID-19 does not seem to be associated with a more severe course of the disease in our hospital.