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Papers of the Week

2022 Oct

J Int Med Res



COVID-19 induces gastrointestinal symptoms and affects patients’ prognosis.


Jin S, Lu X, Xu C
J Int Med Res. 2022 Oct; 50(10):3000605221129543.
PMID: 36238995.


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection caused the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Gastrointestinal (GI) involvement is common among patients with COVID-19, and GI symptoms can appear earlier than respiratory symptoms. Except for direct infectious effects, patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 are at risk of complications requiring gastroenterological management. Diarrhea is the most common GI symptom in patients with COVID-19 and occurs in up to half of them. Other GI symptoms, such as anorexia, discomfort, nausea, abdominal pain, loss of taste sensation, and vomiting, have been reported. GI symptoms are associated with a poor prognosis. Fecal viral excretion may have clinical significance because of the possible fecal-oral transmission of infection. In the present narrative review article, six different aspects of studies published to date are summarized as follows: GI manifestations of COVID-19, the roles of fecal-oral transmission, poor prognosis of GI symptoms; abnormal abdominal imaging findings, COVID-19 in patients with irritable bowel disease, and prevention and control of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the digestive endoscopy room. Timely understanding of the association between COVID-19 and the digestive system and effective preventive measures are critical to improve this disease and help clinicians take appropriate measures to mitigate further transmission.