Effect of COVID-19 on Pre-existing Liver disease: What Hepatologist Should Know?J Clin Exp Hepatol. 2021 Jul-Aug; 11(4):484-493.JC
COVID-19 is characterized by predominant respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms. Liver enzymes derangement is seen in 15-55% of the patients. Advanced age, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, malignancy, and cardiovascular disease predispose them to severe disease and the need for hospitalization. Data on pre-existing liver disease in patients with COVID-19 is limited, and most studies had only 3-8% of these patients. Patients with metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver (MAFLD) had shown a 4-6 fold increase in severity of COVID-19, and its severity and mortality increased in patients with higher fibrosis scores. Patients with chronic liver disease had shown that cirrhosis is an independent predictor of severity of COVID-19 with increased hospitalization and mortality. Increase in Child Turcotte Pugh (CTP) score and model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score increases the mortality in these patients. Few case reports had shown SARS-CoV-2 as an acute event in the decompensation of underlying chronic liver disease. Immunosuppression should be reduced prophylactically in patients with autoimmune liver disease and post-transplantation with no COVID-19. Hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir is found to be safe in limited studies in a patient with cirrhosis and COVID-19. For hepatologists, cirrhosis with COVID-19 is a pertinent issue as the present pandemic will have severe disease in patients with chronic liver disease leading to more hospitalization and decompensation.