A Reliable Prognostic Marker for Liver Dysfunction in COVID-19 Infection

Amir Anushiravani, Bardia Khosravi, Bahar Saberzadeh-Ardestani, Ali Ghasemi, Saeed Kalantari, Majid Sorouri, Helia Mojtabavi, Omid Ghaemi, Amir Reza Radmard, Amir Kasaeian, Omid Motamedi, Hossein Poustchi, Ali Reza Sima



 In December 2019, COVID-19 emerged from China and spread to become a pandemic, killing over 1,350,000 up to November 18, 2020. Some patients with COVID-19 have abnormal liver function tests. We aimed to determine the clinical significance of liver chemistries in patients with COVID‐19.


 We performed a cross-sectional study of 1044 consecutive patients with confirmed COVID-19 in two referral hospitals in Tehran, Iran, from February to April 2020. All cases were diagnosed by clinical criteria and confirmed by characteristic changes in the spiral chest computed tomography (CT) and nucleic acid testing of the nasopharyngeal samples. We evaluated the association between abnormal liver enzymes or function tests and survival, intensive care unit (ICU) admission and fatty liver changes in CT scans.


The mean age was 61.0116.77 years, and 57.68% were male. Of 495 patients with elevated alanine transaminase (ALT) levels, 194 had chest CT scans, in which fatty liver disease was seen in 38.1%. 41 patients (21.13%) had moderate to severe, and 33 (17.01%) had borderline fatty liver disease. Bilirubin, albumin, and partial thromboplastin time (PTT), along with other markers such as HCO3, C-reactive protein (CRP), triglyceride, and length of admission, were significantly associated with ICU admission and mortality. Prothrombin time (PT), platelet count, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels were also correlated with mortality. Fasting blood sugar (FBS) and pH were important indices in ICU admitted patients.


 Liver function tests accurately predict a worse prognosis in patients with COVID-19. However, liver enzymes were only slightly increased in those who died or needed ICU admission and were not related to the fatty liver changes.


Aminotransferase; Liver function; Liver injury; Outcome; SARS-CoV-2

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