Gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with COVID-19: A single-center experience. Gastrointestinal symptoms in COVID-19

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Harun Erdal

Abstract

ABSTRACT


Objective: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus, the first cases of which were reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019. The disease often presents with major respiratory symptoms. In addition, gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are observed. They may be the first or even the only symptoms of the disease. The aim of this study is to demonstrate the presentation of GI symptoms and their relationship to other symptoms, the clinical course and prognosis of patients with COVID-19.


Methods: Included in this study were patients over 18 years of age who had been hospitalised for treatment in clinics and intensive care units due to COVID-19 between March and June 2020. The symptoms reported by the patients at the time of admission and the data collected as a result of the clinical follow-up were evaluated.


Results: Out of the 1,045 patients with COVID-19, 140 patients (13.4%) had GI symptoms. The complaints of these 140 patients were nausea (53.6%), vomiting (32.1%), abdominal pain (11.4%), diarrhea  (45.7%), anorexia (43.6%) and loss of taste (5.6%). In 3.2% of the patients, only GI symptoms were present, without any respiratory symptoms.


Conclusion: Gastrointestinal symptoms were present at the time of admission in 13.4% of the patients with COVID-19. The most common GI symptom in the patients was nausea. Length of stay in hospital and mortality rate were higher in patients with only GI symptoms. Therefore, GI symptoms should be considered in patients with suspected COVID-19.

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Original Research