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Haryana

Covid deadly for people with liver diseases’

July 13, 2020 07:15 AM

Covid deadly for people with liver diseases’
Shimona.Kanwar@timesgroup.com

Chandigarh:

An analysis published in “Hepatology International” journal by a team of PGI doctors has found that liver function abnormalities are frequent in patients with Covid-19 and patients with severe disease are more likely to have these derangements. Two of the eight people to have died of Covid-19 in the city had liver disease and were alcoholics. The patients were 35-year-old and 40-year-old.


“As new things unfold every time which was not reported in our study, it has been seen that those with underlying liver disease and Covid have mortality rate of 40%,” said Dr Vishal Sharma, department of gastroenterology, PGI, and one of the authors of the study, The PGI study inferred that there were 20-25% Covid patients no underlying liver disease, where the level of liver enzymes gets elevated. So, why do the liver enzymes elevate during the infection? “Our study suggested that where there is a bad outcome as in severe Covid infection, liver enzymes get elevated by two-fold (these enzymes are marker of severity) as an inflammatory response, and it can be drug induced also, as they are mostly toxic,” said Dr Vishal. He said, “In patients with normal liver function, even when levels of liver enzymes increase, it cannot damage the organ. The concern is for those who already have liver disease and infected with the virus.”

Doctors advise those with liver diseases to stay home and take extra precaution. “Cirrhosis is a severe liver disease and in Punjab, the main reason for the disease is alcohol consumption. So, such patients, when they get infected with Covid, have higher risk of complication and mortality,” said Dr Vishal.

Most of the studies included in the PGI’s analysis reported use of multiple drugs like antibiotics, antivirals and steroids. “Many of these drugs could have contributed to occurrence of liver dysfunction after hospitalization. Furthermore, ischemia (inadequate blood supply to the organs) and inflammation due to cytokine storm could be responsible for liver dysfunction in patients with severe Covid disease,” mentioned the study

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