Abdominal pain patterns during COVID-19: an observational study
AbstractAbdominal pain and liver injury have been frequently reported during coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). Our aim was to investigate characteristics of abdominal pain in COVID-19 patients and their association with disease severity and liver injury.Data of all COVID-19 patients hospitalized during the first wave in one hospital were retrieved. Patients admitted exclusively for other pathologies and/or recovered from COVID-19, as well as pregnant women were excluded. Patients whose abdominal pain was related to alternative diagnosis were also excluded.Among the 1026 included patients, 200 (19.5%) exhibited spontaneous abdominal pain and 165 (16.2%) after abdomen palpation. Spontaneous pain was most frequently localized in the epigastric (42.7%) and right upper quadrant (25.5%) regions. Tenderness in the right upper region was associated with severe COVID-19 (hospital mortality and/or admission to intensive/intermediate care unit) with an adjusted odds ratio of 2.81 (95% CI 1.27–6.21, p = 0.010). Patients with history of lower abdomen pain experimented less frequently dyspnea compared to patients with history of upper abdominal pain (25.8 versus 63.0%, p 0.001). Baseline transaminases elevation was associated with history of pain in epigastric and right upper region and AST elevation was strongly associated with severe COVID-19 with an odds ratio of 16.03 (95% CI 1.95–131.63 p = 0.010).More than one fifth of patients admitted for COVID-19 presented abdominal pain. Those with pain located in the upper abdomen were more at risk of dyspnea, demonstrated more altered transaminases, and presented a higher risk of adverse outcomes.