Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health


Introduction: The primary receptor for SARS-CoV-2 infection, angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE-2), is expressed in the gastrointestinal tract and liver parenchyma. The involvement of the gastrointestinal tract with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has remained unclear. The following study retrospectively reviews gastrointestinal symptoms and liver function tests at the time of hospital admission to identify patient outcomes including prolonged hospital stay, the requirement for intensive care, and all-cause in-hospital 30-day mortality.
Methods: A retrospective review of patient charts at the Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center (WMC) was conducted at the time of hospital admission, using a pre-determined selection criterion. All adult patients, both inpatient and outpatient, were included from March 2020 till May 2020. A 95% confidence interval was used to estimate the odds ratio (OR) for patient outcomes.
Results: Of the 520 patients, gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea (OR = 0.375, p = 0.015), and nausea and vomiting in combination (OR = 0.400, p = 0.016) had an inverse protective relationship with all-cause in-hospital 30-day mortality among COVID-19 patients. Gastrointestinal symptoms including diarrhea (OR = 1.008, p < 0.001), and nausea and vomiting (OR = 1.291, p = 0.043) had a mild impact on the length of hospital stay.
Conclusion: Elevated liver transaminases including alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST) at the time of hospital admission can predict critical care requirement and all-cause 30-day hospital mortality in patients with COVID-19 infection. Presence of gastrointestinal symptoms is associated with worsened outcomes.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.