Liver Int. 2020 Nov 15. doi: 10.1111/liv.14730. Online ahead of print.
The recent outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has resulted in a world-wide pandemic. Disseminated lung injury with development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is the main cause of mortality in COVID-19. Although liver failure does not seem to occur in the absence of preexisting liver disease, hepatic involvement in COVID-19 may correlate with overall disease severity and serve as prognostic factor for development of ARDS. The spectrum of liver injury in COVID-19 may range from direct infection by SARS-CoV-2, indirect involvement by systemic inflammation, hypoxic changes, iatrogenic causes such as drugs and ventilation to exacerbation of underlying liver disease. This concise review discusses the potential pathophysiological mechanisms for SARS-CoV-2 hepatic tropism as well as acute and possibly long-term liver injury in COVID-19.