BACKGROUND & AIMS
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) poses a major health threat to healthy individuals and those with comorbidities, but its impact on patients with cirrhosis is currently unknown. Herein, we aimed to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on the clinical outcome of patients with cirrhosis.
In this multicentre retrospective study, patients with cirrhosis and a confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection were enrolled between 1st and 31th March 2020. Clinical and biochemical data at diagnosis of COVID-19 and at the last outpatient visit were obtained through review of medical records.
Fifty patients with cirrhosis and confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were enrolled (age 67 years, 70% men, 38% virus-related, 52% previously compensated cirrhosis). At diagnosis, 64% of patients presented fever, 42% shortness of breath/polypnea, 22% encephalopathy, 96% needed hospitalization or a prolonged stay if already in hospital. Respiratory support was necessary in 71%, 52% received antivirals, 80% heparin. Serum albumin significantly decreased, while bilirubin, creatinine and prothrombin time significantly increased at COVID-19 diagnosis compared to last available data. The proportion of patients with a model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score ≥15 increased from 13% to 26% (p = 0.037), acute-on-chronic liver failure and de novo acute liver injury occurred in 14 (28%) and 10 patients, respectively. Seventeen patients died after a median of 10 (4-13) days from COVID-19 diagnosis, with a 30-day-mortality rate of 34%. The severity of lung and liver (according to CLIF-C, CLIF-OF and MELD scores) diseases independently predicted mortality. In patients with cirrhosis, mortality was significantly higher in those with COVID-19 than in those hospitalized for bacterial infections.
COVID-19 is associated with liver function deterioration and elevated mortality in patients with cirrhosis.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) poses a major health threat to healthy individuals and those with comorbidities. Herein, we assessed its impact on patients with cirrhosis. Infection with COVID-19 was associated with liver function deterioration and elevated mortality in patients with cirrhosis.