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Abnormal liver function in COVID-19 tied to longer hospital stay

17 Apr 2020

Patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may present with abnormal liver function, which in turn is associated with longer hospital stay, a study reports.

Researchers looked at 148 consecutive patients (mean age, 50 years; 50.68 percent male) admitted at the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center from January 20 through 31, evaluating patient outcomes until February 19. Abnormal liver function was defined as elevation in concentrations of alanine and aspartate aminotransferase, gamma glutamyltransferase, alkaline phosphatase, and total bilirubin.

Fifty-five COVID-19 patients presented with abnormal liver function at hospital admission. Most of these patients were men and had higher levels of procalcitonin and C-reactive protein.

Significantly more patients in the abnormal liver function group had high fever than in the group with normal liver function (14.5 percent vs 4.3 percent; p=0.027). There was no between-group difference in medications taken before hospitalization, although a markedly higher proportion of patients in the former group had received lopinavir/ritonavir after admission (57.8 percent vs 31.3 percent).

Mean hospital stay was significantly longer in the group of patients with abnormal liver function than in those with normal liver function (15.09 vs 12.76 days; p=0.021).

The researchers explained that SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent for COVID-19, potentially causes liver function damage and that liver injury following admission may be associated with the use of lopinavir/ritonavir. These data may guide clinical treatment of patients during the current pandemic.

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Most Read Articles
24 May 2020
The use of capsule endoscopy (CE) appears to be effective in the diagnosis of iron deficiency anaemia (IDA), yielding a 33.9-percent yield in this study, with 65.8 percent of patients undergoing further workup and 12.7 percent requiring therapeutic intervention.
Roshini Claire Anthony, 2 days ago

For coffee drinkers, drinking filtered coffee may be tied to a lower mortality risk, including cardiovascular disease (CVD)-related mortality, a study from Norway suggested.

4 days ago
Eating behaviours have been shown to moderate the relationship between cumulated risk factors in the first 1,000 days and adiposity outcomes at 6 years of age, which underscores modifiable behavioural targets for interventions, reports a study.
Stephen Padilla, 3 days ago
Use of noninvasive ventilation (NIV), similar to invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV), appears to lessen mortality but may increase the risk for transmission of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in healthcare workers, suggest the results of a study.