• Elevated Liver Biochemistries in Hospitalized Chinese Patients With Severe COVID-19: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

      Kovalic, Alexander J; Huang, Glen; Thuluvath, Paul J; Satapathy, Sanjaya K (Wiley-Blackwell, 2020-07-21)
      Background and Aims: Several recent studies have reported an abnormal liver chemistry profile among patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), although its clinical significance remains unknown. Approach and Results: This systematic review and meta-analysis identified six studies of 586 patients delineating liver chemistries among patients with severe/critical illness versus mild cases of COVID-19 infection. Patients with severe/critical illness with COVID-19 infection have increased prevalence of coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as compared with mild cases. A significant association between severe/critical COVID-19 infections with elevations in aspartate aminotransferase (pooled mean difference [MD], 11.70 U/L; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.97, 20.43; P = 0.009), elevated total bilirubin (pooled MD, 0.14 mg/dL; 95% CI, 0.06, 0.22; P = 0.0005), and decreased albumin (pooled MD, −0.68 g/L; 95% CI, −0.81, −0.55; P < 0.00001) was noted. There was also a trend toward elevated alanine aminotransferase levels among these severe cases (pooled MD, 8.84 U/L; 95% CI, −2.28, 19.97; P = 0.12); however, this did not reach statistical significance. More severe/critically ill cases were associated with leukocytosis, neutrophilia, lymphopenia, elevated creatinine kinase, elevated lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and elevated prothrombin time (PT). Conclusions: Comorbidities, including coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, are more prevalent in hospitalized Chinese patients with severe/critical illness from COVID-19, and these patients are more likely to manifest with abnormal liver chemistries. Further prospective studies are crucial to understand the pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying the hepatic manifestations of the novel COVID-19 infection and its clinical significance. © 2020 by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.