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Papers of the Week

2021 Jun 28

World J Gastroenterol



COVID-19 and its effects on the digestive system.


Cao T-T, Zhang G-Q, Pellegrini E, Zhao Q, Li J, Luo L-J, Pan H-Q
World J Gastroenterol. 2021 Jun 28; 27(24):3502-3515.
PMID: 34239265.


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by infection of the coronavirus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) with typical respiratory symptoms. SARS-CoV-2 invades not only the respiratory system, but also other organs expressing the cell surface receptor angiotensin converting enzyme 2. In particular, the digestive system is a susceptible target of SARS-CoV-2. Gastrointestinal symptoms of COVID-19 include anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and liver damage. Patients with digestive damage have a greater chance of progressing to severe or critical illness, a poorer prognosis, and a higher risk of death. This paper aims to summarize the digestive system symptoms of COVID-19 and discuss fecal-oral contagion of SARS-CoV-2. It also describes the characteristics of inflammatory bowel disease patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection and discusses precautions for preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection during gastrointestinal endoscopy procedures. Improved attention to digestive system abnormalities and gastrointestinal symptoms of COVID-19 patients may aid health care providers in the process of clinical diagnosis, treatment, and epidemic prevention and control.