Background. Information about liver dysfunction in patients with COVID-19 is scarce. We aimed to explored the pattern and risk factors of liver dysfunction in patients with COVID-19.
Methods. In this retrospective study, we included all consecutive confirmed patients with COVID-19 in Fuyang Second People’s Hospital between January 20 and February 25, 2020 and collected clinical characteristics until discharge. The pattern and risk factors of liver dysfunction, viral shedding and outcome were analyzed.
Results. Totally, 146 patients were analyzed. The median age was 44.9 years and 54.1% were men, 43.8% patients presented liver dysfunction (22.6% on admission, 21.2% during hospitalization). The percentage of elevated ALT (15.1% on admission and 24.7% during hospitalization) were significantly higher than ALP (2.1% on admission and 3.4% during hospitalization) (P < 0.001). Four clinical types were identified, type 1 (persistent normal liver function, 56.2%), type 2 (normal liver function on admission developed to liver dysfunction during hospitalization, 21.2%), type 3 (liver dysfunction on admission restored to normal on discharge, 13.0%) and type 4 (persistent liver dysfunction, 9.6%). The median duration of viral shedding was 12.0 (type 1), 15.0 (type 2), 14.0 (type 3) and 18.0 (type 4) days (P < 0.001). Prolonged viral shedding and severity were potential risk factors associated with liver dysfunction.
Conclusions. The incidence of liver dysfunction in patients with COVID-19 is common but not severe, which mainly due to SARS-CoV-2-mediated immune injury on hepatocyte rather than cholangiocyte, DILI and underlying chronic liver disease should not be neglect.