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Endosc Int Open ; 9(9): E1435-E1444, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1377929


Background and study aim COVID-19 patients are at increased risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE) requiring the use of anticoagulation. Gastrointestinal bleeding (GIB) is increasingly being reported, complicating the decision to initiate or resume anticoagulation as providers balance the risk of thrombotic disease with the risk of bleeding. Our study aimed to assess rebleeding rates in COVID-19 patients with GIB and determine whether endoscopy reduces these rebleeding events. We also report 30-day VTE and mortality rates. Methods This was a retrospective study evaluating 56 COVID-19 patients with GIB for the following outcomes: 30-day rebleeding rate, 30-day VTE rate, effects of endoscopic intervention on the rate of rebleeding, and 30-day mortality. Results The overall rates of VTE and rebleeding events were 27 % and 41 %, respectively. Rebleeding rates in patients managed conservatively was 42 % compared with 40 % in the endoscopy group. Overall, 87 % of those who underwent invasive intervention resumed anticoagulation vs. 55 % of those managed medically ( P  = 0.02). The all-cause 30-day mortality and GIB-related deaths were 32 % and 9 %, respectively. Mortality rates between the endoscopic and conservative management groups were not statistically different (25 % vs. 39 %; P  = 0.30). Conclusions Although rebleeding rates were similar between the endoscopic and conservative management groups, patients who underwent intervention were more likely to restart anticoagulation. While endoscopy appeared to limit the duration that anticoagulation was withheld, larger studies are needed to further characterize its direct effect on mortality outcomes in these complex patients.

Am J Surg Pathol ; 46(1): 89-96, 2022 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1254925


Approximately 20% of patients with symptomatic syndrome-associated coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection have gastrointestinal bleeding and/or diarrhea. Most are managed without endoscopic evaluation because the risk of practitioner infection outweighs the value of biopsy analysis unless symptoms are life-threatening. As a result, much of what is known about the gastrointestinal manifestations of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) has been gleaned from surgical and autopsy cases that suffer from extensive ischemic injury and/or poor preservation. There are no detailed reports describing any other gastrointestinal effects of SARS-CoV-2 even though >3,000,000 people have died from COVID-19 worldwide. The purpose of this study is to report the intestinal findings related to SARS-CoV-2 infection by way of a small case series including one with evidence of direct viral cytopathic effect and 2 with secondary injury attributed to viral infection. Infection can be confirmed by immunohistochemical stains directed against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, in situ hybridization for spike protein-encoding RNA, and ultrastructural visualization of viruses within the epithelium. It induces cytoplasmic blebs and tufted epithelial cells without inflammation and may not cause symptoms. In contrast, SARS-CoV-2 infection can cause gastrointestinal symptoms after the virus is no longer detected, reflecting systemic activation of cytokine and complement cascades rather than direct viral injury. Reversible mucosal ischemia features microvascular injury with hemorrhage, small vessel thrombosis, and platelet-rich thrombi. Systemic cytokine elaboration and dysbiosis likely explain epithelial cell injury that accompanies diarrheal symptoms. These observations are consistent with clinical and in vitro data and contribute to our understanding of the protean manifestations of COVID-19.

COVID-19/pathology , Intestinal Diseases/pathology , Intestinal Diseases/virology , Intestines/pathology , Intestines/virology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/metabolism , Biopsy , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/metabolism , Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage/diagnosis , Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage/immunology , Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage/pathology , Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage/virology , Humans , Intestinal Diseases/diagnosis , Intestinal Diseases/immunology , Intestines/immunology , Ischemia/diagnosis , Ischemia/immunology , Ischemia/pathology , Ischemia/virology , Male , Thrombosis/diagnosis , Thrombosis/immunology , Thrombosis/pathology , Thrombosis/virology
Am J Gastroenterol ; 115(10): 1609-1616, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-717821


INTRODUCTION: Although current literature has addressed gastrointestinal presentations including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal liver chemistries, and hyperlipasemia as possible coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) manifestations, the risk and type of gastrointestinal bleeding (GIB) in this population is not well characterized. METHODS: This is a matched case-control (1:2) study with 41 cases of GIB (31 upper and 10 lower) in patients with COVID-19 and 82 matched controls of patients with COVID-19 without GIB. The primary objective was to characterize bleeding etiologies, and our secondary aim was to discuss outcomes and therapeutic approaches. RESULTS: There was no difference in the presenting symptoms of the cases and controls, and no difference in severity of COVID-19 manifestations (P > 0.05) was observed. Ten (32%) patients with upper GIB underwent esophagogastroduodenoscopy and 5 (50%) patients with lower GIBs underwent flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. The most common upper and lower GIB etiologies were gastric or duodenal ulcers (80%) and rectal ulcers related to rectal tubes (60%), respectively. Four of the esophagogastroduodenoscopies resulted in therapeutic interventions, and the 3 patients with rectal ulcers were referred to colorectal surgery for rectal packing. Successful hemostasis was achieved in all 7 cases that required interventions. Transfusion requirements between patients who underwent endoscopic therapy and those who were conservatively managed were not significantly different. Anticoagulation and rectal tube usage trended toward being a risk factor for GIB, although it did not reach statistical significance. DISCUSSION: In COVID-19 patients with GIB, compared with matched controls of COVID-19 patients without GIB, there seemed to be no difference in initial presenting symptoms. Of those with upper and lower GIB, the most common etiology was peptic ulcer disease and rectal ulcers from rectal tubes, respectively. Conservative management seems to be a reasonable initial approach in managing these complex cases, but larger studies are needed to guide management.

Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage/epidemiology , Peptic Ulcer/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Rectal Diseases/epidemiology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anticoagulants/adverse effects , Blood Transfusion/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Case-Control Studies , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Endoscopy/statistics & numerical data , Enema/adverse effects , Enema/instrumentation , Female , Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage/etiology , Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage/therapy , Hemostatic Techniques/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Peptic Ulcer/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Rectal Diseases/etiology , Rectal Diseases/therapy , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2