This gut inflammation may be an early sign of COVID-19

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Acute pancreatitis is a sudden inflammation of the pancreas that may be mild or life-threatening but usually subsides.

In a recent study at the University of Arkansas and elsewhere, researchers found this health problem may be a gastrointestinal manifestation of COVID-19.

The study is published in Gastroenterology. One author is Sumant Inamdar, M.B.B.S. from the University of Arkansas.

In the study, the team assessed the point prevalence, risk factors, and outcomes of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 presenting with acute pancreatitis in a large New York health system (March 1 through June 1, 2020).

Outcomes were compared for those with pancreatitis and COVID-19 versus those with pancreatitis but without COVID-19.

The researchers found that during the study period, 189 patients met the criteria for a diagnosis of pancreatitis, and 32 of the 189 (17%) were COVID-19-positive, yielding a point prevalence of 0.27% of pancreatitis among patients hospitalized with COVID-19.

There was a higher proportion of Black and Hispanic patients with pancreatitis in the COVID-19-positive group versus the COVID-19-negative group, which remained significant in an adjusted analysis.

Patients with pancreatitis and COVID-19 were more likely to require mechanical ventilation and have longer hospital stays versus patients with pancreatitis but not COVID-19.

These findings support the notion that pancreatitis should be included in the list of gastrointestinal manifestations of COVID-19.

Copyright © 2020 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.