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Liver Fibrosis Worsens Outcomes of COVID-19 Patients, Study Finds

A recent study has discovered that patients with metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD), liver fibrosis appears to worsen outcomes of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), increasing the risk of mechanical ventilation, acute kidney injury, and death.

Liver Fibrosis | InStyleHealth
Photo: Liver Fibrosis | InStyleHealth

Experts performed a retrospective group analysis of 432 hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The presence of liver fibrosis was identified in a two-step approach: computed tomography (CT) to detect liver steatosis, followed by a calculation of the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease fibrosis score.

Majority of the participants with average age of 52 years (of which 61.2% were men) did not have MAFLD, while the remaining 176 with an average age of 48 years (of which 69.5% were men. The two groups had no significant differences in terms of COVID-19 outcomes, showing comparable levels of pulmonary involvement on CT scan and receiving similar treatments.

Using the logistic regression analysis, it revealed that in COVID-19 patients with MAFLD, fibrosis heightened the risk of endotracheal intubation by over 3 times and of acute kidney injury by more than 2 times.

Furthermore, fibrosis was also significantly associated with the risk of mortality. According to the researchers, that the presence of fibrosis, rather than the presence of MAFLD, has an impact on the risk of mechanical ventilation requirement, development of acute kidney injury, and higher mortality in patients with COVID-19.


Source: Dig Liver Dis 2021;53:525-533

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