1 in 5 people with COVID-19 only show gut symptoms

In a new review study, researchers found that almost one in five patients with COVID-19 may only show gut symptoms.

The findings of the review suggest abdominal radiologists need to remain vigilant during the pandemic while imaging patients.

The research was conducted by a team at the University of Alberta.

Gut symptoms associated with COVID-19 vary widely but can include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and generalized abdominal pain.

The researchers reported that 18% of patients presented with such symptoms, while 16% of COVID-19 cases may only present with gut symptoms.

There’s a growing amount of literature showing that gut symptoms are common for COVID-19.

In the study, the researchers examined findings from 36 studies published through July 15 to reach their conclusions.

In addition to gut symptoms, they also suggest potential signs radiologists should look for while conducting abdominal imaging that could be evidence of COVID-19 infection.

Those signs include inflammation of the small and large bowel, the air within the bowel wall (pneumatosis), and bowel perforation (pneumoperitoneum).

The signs are quite rare, said the researchers, and could indicate patients with advanced disease.

One author of the study is Mitch Wilson, a radiologist, and clinical lecturer.

The study is published in the journal Abdominal Radiology.

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