Manifestations and prognosis of gastrointestinal and liver involvement in patients with COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis

13 May, 2020
The prevalence and prognosis of digestive system involvement, including gastrointestinal symptoms and liver injury, in patients with COVID-19 remains largely unknown. We aimed to quantify the effects of COVID-19 on the digestive system.

In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we systematically searched PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science for studies published between Jan 1, 2020, and April 4, 2020. The websites of WHO, CDC, and major journals were also searched. We included studies that reported the epidemiological and clinical features of COVID-19 and the prevalence of gastrointestinal findings in infected patients, and excluded preprints, duplicate publications, reviews, editorials, single case reports, studies pertaining to other coronavirus-related illnesses, and small case series (<10 cases).

Our study showed that digestive symptoms and liver injury are not uncommon in patients with COVID-19. Increased attention should be paid to the care of this unique group of patients.