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      Mild versus Severe Liver Injury in SARS-CoV-2 Infection

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          Abnormal liver function has been reported in patients with COVID-19 infection. The aim of our study was to report on the prevalence of liver injury in our cohort, to evaluate the association of mild versus severe liver injury with mortality in COVID-19 patients and to scrutinize the temporal pattern of viral detection and liver injury.


          We present data from a German cohort of 147 SARS-CoV-2 infected patients. The patients were divided into 3 groups according to their liver status during treatment. The first group included patients without elevated alanine aminotransferase or bilirubin, the third group patients meeting the biochemical criteria of acute liver failure (ALF), and the second group all other patients.


          Liver injury was detected in 75 (50.7%) and 93 (63%) patients by admission and during treatment, respectively. ALF was associated with the male sex, younger age, and higher BMI. Mortality was associated with the presence of ALF (OR = 9.423, 95% CI: 2.410–36.858) in contrast to milder liver injury (OR 1.101, 95% CI: 0.435–2.791). In 30% of patients with mild liver injury and in 50% of ALF patients, peak liver injury was observed at a time point when the virus was no longer detectable in the respiratory tract.


          Mild liver injury was not associated with worse outcome in our cohort, and the pattern of liver injury did not fit well to the theory of SARS-CoV-2 directly causing liver impairment. Instead, severe liver injury in our cohort was associated multiple-organ failure and acute vascular events.

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          Most cited references 29

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          Clinical Characteristics of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in China

          Abstract Background Since December 2019, when coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) emerged in Wuhan city and rapidly spread throughout China, data have been needed on the clinical characteristics of the affected patients. Methods We extracted data regarding 1099 patients with laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 from 552 hospitals in 30 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities in mainland China through January 29, 2020. The primary composite end point was admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), the use of mechanical ventilation, or death. Results The median age of the patients was 47 years; 41.9% of the patients were female. The primary composite end point occurred in 67 patients (6.1%), including 5.0% who were admitted to the ICU, 2.3% who underwent invasive mechanical ventilation, and 1.4% who died. Only 1.9% of the patients had a history of direct contact with wildlife. Among nonresidents of Wuhan, 72.3% had contact with residents of Wuhan, including 31.3% who had visited the city. The most common symptoms were fever (43.8% on admission and 88.7% during hospitalization) and cough (67.8%). Diarrhea was uncommon (3.8%). The median incubation period was 4 days (interquartile range, 2 to 7). On admission, ground-glass opacity was the most common radiologic finding on chest computed tomography (CT) (56.4%). No radiographic or CT abnormality was found in 157 of 877 patients (17.9%) with nonsevere disease and in 5 of 173 patients (2.9%) with severe disease. Lymphocytopenia was present in 83.2% of the patients on admission. Conclusions During the first 2 months of the current outbreak, Covid-19 spread rapidly throughout China and caused varying degrees of illness. Patients often presented without fever, and many did not have abnormal radiologic findings. (Funded by the National Health Commission of China and others.)
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            Clinical Characteristics of 138 Hospitalized Patients With 2019 Novel Coronavirus–Infected Pneumonia in Wuhan, China

            In December 2019, novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)-infected pneumonia (NCIP) occurred in Wuhan, China. The number of cases has increased rapidly but information on the clinical characteristics of affected patients is limited.
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              EASL Clinical Practical Guidelines on the management of acute (fulminant) liver failure.

              The term acute liver failure (ALF) is frequently applied as a generic expression to describe patients presenting with or developing an acute episode of liver dysfunction. In the context of hepatological practice, however, ALF refers to a highly specific and rare syndrome, characterised by an acute abnormality of liver blood tests in an individual without underlying chronic liver disease. The disease process is associated with development of a coagulopathy of liver aetiology, and clinically apparent altered level of consciousness due to hepatic encephalopathy. Several important measures are immediately necessary when the patient presents for medical attention. These, as well as additional clinical procedures will be the subject of these clinical practice guidelines.

                Author and article information

                Dig Dis
                Dig Dis
                Digestive Diseases (Basel, Switzerland)
                S. Karger AG (Allschwilerstrasse 10, P.O. Box · Postfach · Case postale, CH–4009, Basel, Switzerland · Schweiz · Suisse, Phone: +41 61 306 11 11, Fax: +41 61 306 12 34, )
                10 August 2020
                : 1-6
                aInstitute for Virology, University Hospital Essen, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany
                bDepartment of Nephrology, University Hospital Essen, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany
                cDepartment of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Essen University Hospital, Essen, Germany
                dDepartment of Infectious Diseases, West German Centre of Infectious Diseases, Universitätsmedizin Essen, University Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany
                eDepartment of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Hospital Essen, Essen, Germany
                Author notes
                *Olympia E. Anastasiou, Institute for Virology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Hufelandstraße 55, DE–45147 Essen (Germany), olympia.anastasiou@
                Copyright © 2020 by S. Karger AG, Basel

                This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic or until permissions are revoked in writing. Upon expiration of these permissions, PMC is granted a perpetual license to make this article available via PMC and Europe PMC, consistent with existing copyright protections.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 2, References: 20, Pages: 6
                Liver: Research Article


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