- In this single-center study of patients ill with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, 1 in 4 patients (most of whom were women) had gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms.
Why this matters
- The ACE2 receptor, to which the SARS-CoV-2 virus binds, is expressed not only in lung but also in enterocytes.
- Infection could follow a digestive route.
- Mean age, 50.6 years.
- 26% had GI symptoms, of whom 62.8% were women (P=.033).
- Patients with GI symptoms were significantly likelier than those without to experience:
- Sore throat, dizziness, and fatigue (data not shown).
- Lower hemoglobin: 116.7 (106-127) vs 133 (114-141) g/L; P=.028.
- Higher C-reactive protein: 7.3 (2.9-6.6) vs 3.8 (1.8-5.8) mg/L; P=.021.
- Higher alanine transaminase: 64.1 (51.2-64.4) vs 46.6 (31.9-61.2) IU/L; P=.049.
- Both groups underwent similar treatments and had similar outcomes (data not shown).
- Single-center study of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia in Wuhan (n=254).
- Authors compared characteristics, clinical outcomes of patients with GI symptoms vs without.
- Funding: National Natural Science Foundation of China.
- Specific GI symptoms not listed.
- Enrollment period was specified (December 20, 2019 through February 9, 2020), but not duration of follow-up.
- Many patients still hospitalized at close of study; clinical outcomes difficult to assess.
- Many data summarized but not reported.