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Gastrointestinal manifestations of COVID-19: results from a European centre.
Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2021 05 01; 33(5):691-694.EJ

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Infection due to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is typically associated with a respiratory syndrome, but gastrointestinal symptoms have been described in early reports from China. However, data from European centres are scarce.

OBJECTIVES

We aimed to characterise the gastrointestinal manifestations of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and their disease course.

METHODS

Patients admitted at our centre between March and April 2020 with diagnosis of COVID-19 were included. Asymptomatic patients or those without symptom information were excluded. Clinical features, laboratory data and disease severity (mechanical ventilation, intensive care admission or death) were analysed.

RESULTS

Two-hundred one patients were included (median age 71 years; 56.2% male). Digestive symptoms were reported by 60 (29.9%) patients during the disease course, being part of the disease presentation in 34 (16.9%). The most frequent were diarrhoea in 36 patients (17.9%). Patients with gastrointestinal symptoms were younger (P = 0.032), had higher haemoglobin levels (P = 0.002) and lower C-reactive protein (P = 0.045) and potassium levels (P = 0.004). Patients with digestive symptoms had less severe disease (28.3 vs. 44.0%; P = 0.038). Regarding liver damage, aspartate aminotransferase (AST) was elevated in 65.2% of patients and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) in 62.7%, but these patients did not present a more severe disease (elevated AST P = 0.062; elevated ALT P = 0.276).

CONCLUSION

A significant portion of COVID-19 patients have digestive symptoms, mostly at presentation. This should be taken into account in order to keep a high level of suspicion to reach an early diagnosis and setup infection control measures to control the transmission rate. This subgroup of patients appears to have a less severe disease course.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Infectious Diseases Unit. Gastroenterology Department.Infectious Diseases Unit. Reumathology Department, Hospital de Braga, Braga, Portugal.Gastroenterology Department.Gastroenterology Department.Infectious Diseases Unit.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Observational Study

Language

eng

PubMed ID

33787540

Citation

Leal, Tiago, et al. "Gastrointestinal Manifestations of COVID-19: Results From a European Centre." European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, vol. 33, no. 5, 2021, pp. 691-694.
Leal T, Costa E, Arroja B, et al. Gastrointestinal manifestations of COVID-19: results from a European centre. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2021;33(5):691-694.
Leal, T., Costa, E., Arroja, B., Gonçalves, R., & Alves, J. (2021). Gastrointestinal manifestations of COVID-19: results from a European centre. European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, 33(5), 691-694. https://doi.org/10.1097/MEG.0000000000002152
Leal T, et al. Gastrointestinal Manifestations of COVID-19: Results From a European Centre. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2021 05 1;33(5):691-694. PubMed PMID: 33787540.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Gastrointestinal manifestations of COVID-19: results from a European centre. AU - Leal,Tiago, AU - Costa,Emanuel, AU - Arroja,Bruno, AU - Gonçalves,Raquel, AU - Alves,Joana, PY - 2021/3/31/entrez PY - 2021/4/1/pubmed PY - 2021/4/13/medline SP - 691 EP - 694 JF - European journal of gastroenterology & hepatology JO - Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol VL - 33 IS - 5 N2 - BACKGROUND: Infection due to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is typically associated with a respiratory syndrome, but gastrointestinal symptoms have been described in early reports from China. However, data from European centres are scarce. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to characterise the gastrointestinal manifestations of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and their disease course. METHODS: Patients admitted at our centre between March and April 2020 with diagnosis of COVID-19 were included. Asymptomatic patients or those without symptom information were excluded. Clinical features, laboratory data and disease severity (mechanical ventilation, intensive care admission or death) were analysed. RESULTS: Two-hundred one patients were included (median age 71 years; 56.2% male). Digestive symptoms were reported by 60 (29.9%) patients during the disease course, being part of the disease presentation in 34 (16.9%). The most frequent were diarrhoea in 36 patients (17.9%). Patients with gastrointestinal symptoms were younger (P = 0.032), had higher haemoglobin levels (P = 0.002) and lower C-reactive protein (P = 0.045) and potassium levels (P = 0.004). Patients with digestive symptoms had less severe disease (28.3 vs. 44.0%; P = 0.038). Regarding liver damage, aspartate aminotransferase (AST) was elevated in 65.2% of patients and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) in 62.7%, but these patients did not present a more severe disease (elevated AST P = 0.062; elevated ALT P = 0.276). CONCLUSION: A significant portion of COVID-19 patients have digestive symptoms, mostly at presentation. This should be taken into account in order to keep a high level of suspicion to reach an early diagnosis and setup infection control measures to control the transmission rate. This subgroup of patients appears to have a less severe disease course. SN - 1473-5687 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/33787540/Gastrointestinal_manifestations_of_COVID_19:_results_from_a_European_centre_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -