2020 Volume 59 Issue 19 Pages 2353-2358
Objective Liver injury is a notable complication of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This study aimed to clarify the clinical features and liver injury in Japanese patients with COVID-19.
Methods We conducted a multicenter retrospective cohort study. All consecutive patients with COVID-19 who visited or were admitted to our hospital before May 12, 2020, were enrolled. Their demographics, symptoms, laboratory findings, comorbidities, concomitant drugs, treatment, and clinical course were reviewed. We defined liver injury as alanine aminotransferase (ALT) or gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) levels over the upper limit of normal.
Results Twenty-two patients with COVID-19 (median age, 47 years old; men/women, 13/9) were enrolled. Two patients had underlying liver diseases, and two were diagnosed as having COVID-19 without any symptoms. Elevated ALT and GGT levels were found in 12 and 12 patients, respectively, and liver injury was observed in 15 patients (68.2%). Compared with the patients without liver injury, those with liver injury had a significantly higher fever during the clinical course (median, 37.5°C vs. 38.8°C, p=0.006). A significant correlation was found between the highest serum liver values and the highest body temperature in each patient. Among the 22 patients, 4 required artificial respiratory support, and 2 died thereafter. Liver injury was not associated with the severity or mortality of COVID-19.
Conclusion Elevated levels of liver enzymes in the Japanese patients with COVID-19 were associated with the highest body temperature during the clinical course but not with the severity or mortality of COVID-19.