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1.
Liver Int ; 2022 Apr 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1784710

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND&AIMS: The Coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) causes considerable mortality worldwide. We aimed to investigate the frequency and predictive role of abnormal liver chemistries in different age groups. METHODS: Patients with positive severe acute respiratory distress syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) between 03/2020-07/2021 at the Vienna General Hospital were included. Patients were stratified for age: 18-39 vs. 40-69 vs. ≥70years (y). Aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine-aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) and total bilirubin (BIL) were recorded. RESULTS: 900 patients (18-39y: 32.2%, 40-69y: 39.7%, ≥70y: 28.1%) were included. Number of comorbidities, median D-dimer and C-reactive protein increased with age. During COVID-19, AST/ALT and ALP/GGT levels significantly increased. Elevated hepatocellular transaminases (AST/ALT) and cholestasis parameters (ALP/GGT/BIL) were observed in 40.3% (n=262/650) and 45.0% (n=287/638) of patients, respectively. Liver-related mortality was highest among patients with pre-existing decompensated liver disease (28.6%, p<0.001). 1.7% of patients without pre-existing liver disease died of liver-related causes, i.e. consequences of hepatic dysfunction or acute liver failure. Importantly, COVID-19-associated liver injury (16.0%, p<0.001), abnormal liver chemistries and liver-related mortality (6.5%, p<0.001) were most frequent among 40-69y old patients. Elevated AST and BIL after first positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR independently predicted mortality in the overall cohort and in 40-69y old patients. CONCLUSIONS: Almost half of COVID-19 patients exhibit abnormal hepatocellular and cholestasis-related liver chemistries with 40-69y old patients being at particularly high risk for COVID-19-related liver injury and liver-related mortality. Elevated AST and BIL after SARS-CoV-2 infection are independent predictors for mortality, especially in patients aged 40-69y.

2.
J Pers Med ; 11(12)2021 Dec 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1542639

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: Cirrhotic patients have an increased risk for severe COVID-19. We investigated the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAS), parameters of endothelial dysfunction, inflammation, and coagulation/fibrinolysis in cirrhotic patients and in COVID-19 patients. (2) Methods: 127 prospectively characterized cirrhotic patients (CIRR), along with nine patients with mild COVID-19 (mild-COVID), 11 patients with COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS; ARDS-COVID), and 10 healthy subjects (HS) were included in the study. Portal hypertension (PH) in cirrhotic patients was characterized by hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG). (3) Results: With increased liver disease severity (Child-Pugh stage A vs. B vs. C) and compared to HS, CIRR patients exhibited higher RAS activity (angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), renin, aldosterone), endothelial dysfunction (von Willebrand-factor (VWF) antigen), inflammation (C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6)), and a disturbed coagulation/fibrinolysis profile (prothrombin fragment F1,2, D-dimer, plasminogen activity, antiplasmin activity). Increased RAS activity (renin), endothelial dysfunction (vWF), coagulation parameters (D-dimer, prothrombin fragment F1,2) and inflammation (CRP, IL-6) were significantly altered in COVID patients and followed similar trends from mild-COVID to ARDS-COVID. In CIRR patients, ACE activity was linked to IL-6 (ρ = 0.26; p = 0.003), independently correlated with VWF antigen (aB: 0.10; p = 0.001), and was inversely associated with prothrombin fragment F1,2 (aB: -0.03; p = 0.023) and antiplasmin activity (aB: -0.58; p = 0.006), after adjusting for liver disease severity. (4) Conclusions: The considerable upregulation of the RAS in Child-Pugh B/C cirrhosis is linked to systemic inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, and abnormal coagulation profile. The cirrhosis-associated abnormalities of ACE, IL-6, VWF antigen, and antiplasmin parallel those observed in severe COVID-19.

3.
PLoS One ; 16(8): e0256544, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374151

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) represent a vulnerable population potentially negatively affected by COVID-19-associated reallocation of healthcare resources. Here, we report the impact of COVID-19 on the management of HCC patients in a large tertiary care hospital. METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed clinical data of HCC patients who presented at the Vienna General Hospital, between 01/DEC/2019 and 30/JUN/2020. We compared patient care before (period 1) and after (period 2) implementation of COVID-19-associated healthcare restrictions on 16/MAR/2020. RESULTS: Of 126 patients, majority was male (n = 104, 83%) with a mean age of 66±11 years. Half of patients (n = 57, 45%) had impaired liver function (Child-Pugh stage B/C) and 91 (72%) had intermediate-advanced stage HCC (BCLC B-D). New treatment, was initiated in 68 (54%) patients. Number of new HCC diagnoses did not differ between the two periods (n = 14 vs. 14). While personal visits were reduced, an increase in teleconsultation was observed (period 2). Number of patients with visit delays (n = 31 (30%) vs. n = 10 (10%); p = 0.001) and imaging delays (n = 25 (25%) vs. n = 7 (7%); p = 0.001) was higher in period 2. Accordingly, a reduced number of patients was discussed in interdisciplinary tumor boards (lowest number in April (n = 24), compared to a median number of 57 patients during period 1). Median number of elective/non-elective admissions was not different between the periods. One patient contracted COVID-19 with lethal outcome. CONCLUSIONS: Changes in patient care included reduced personal contacts but increased telephone visits, and delays in diagnostic procedures. The effects on long-term outcome need to be determined.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/diagnosis , Liver Neoplasms/diagnosis , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antineoplastic Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/virology , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/drug therapy , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/mortality , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/pathology , Delayed Diagnosis , Female , Humans , Liver Neoplasms/drug therapy , Liver Neoplasms/mortality , Liver Neoplasms/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasm Staging , Pandemics , Patients/psychology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Survival Rate , Telemedicine , Tertiary Care Centers
4.
Hepatol Commun ; 5(10): 1660-1675, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1233191

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic necessitated down-scaling of in-hospital care to prohibit the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2. We (1) assessed patient perceptions on quality of care by telesurvey (cohort 1) and written questionnaire (cohort 2), and (2) analyzed trends in elective and nonelective admissions before (December 2019 to February 2020) and during (March to May 2020) the COVID-19 pandemic in Austria. A total of 279 outpatients were recruited into cohort 1 and 138 patients into cohort 2. All admissions from December 2019 to May 2020 to the Division of Gastroenterology/Hepatology at the Vienna General Hospital were analyzed. A total of 32.6% (n = 91 of 279) of cohort 1 and 72.5% (n = 95 of 131) of cohort 2 had telemedical contact, whereas 59.5% (n = 166 of 279) and 68.2% (n = 90 of 132) had face-to-face visits. A total of 24.1% (n = 32 of 133) needed acute medical help during health care restrictions; however, 57.3% (n = 51 of 89) reported that contacting their physician during COVID-19 was difficult or impossible. Patient-reported satisfaction with treatment decreased significantly during restrictions in cohort 1 (visual analog scale [VAS] 0-10: 9.0 ± 1.6 to 8.6 ± 2.2; P < 0.001) and insignificantly in cohort 2 (VAS 0-10: 8.9 ± 1.6 to 8.7 ± 2.1; P = 0.182). Despite fewer hospital admissions during COVID-19, the proportion of nonelective admissions (+6.3%) and intensive care unit admissions (+6.7%) increased. Patients with cirrhosis with nonelective admissions during COVID-19 had significantly higher Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) (25.5 [14.2] vs. 17.0 [interquartile range: 8.8]; P = 0.003) and ΔMELD (difference from last MELD: 3.9 ± 6.3 vs. 8.7 ± 6.4; P = 0.008), required immediate intensive care more frequently (26.7% vs. 5.6%; P = 0.034), and had significantly increased 30-day liver-related mortality (30.0% vs. 8.3%; P = 0.028). Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic's effects on quality of liver care is evident from decreased patient satisfaction, hospitalization of sicker patients with advanced chronic liver disease, and increased liver-related mortality. Strategies for improved telemedical liver care and preemptive treatment of cirrhosis-related complications are needed to counteract the COVID-19-associated restrictions of in-hospital care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Gastroenterology , Liver Diseases/therapy , Patient Satisfaction , Quality of Health Care , Telemedicine , Aged , Austria , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/mortality , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/therapy , Chronic Disease , Delivery of Health Care , End Stage Liver Disease , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Liver Diseases/mortality , Liver Neoplasms/mortality , Liver Neoplasms/therapy , Liver Transplantation , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Surveys and Questionnaires
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