Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can be considered a systemic disease with a specific tropism for the vascular system, in which the alterations of the microcirculation have an important pathogenetic role. The lungs are the main organ involved in COVID-19, and severe progressive respiratory failure is the leading cause of death in the affected patients; however, many other organs can be involved with variable clinical manifestations. Concerning abdominal manifestations, the gastrointestinal tract and the hepatobiliary system are mainly affected, although the pancreas, urinary tract and spleen may also be involved. The most common gastrointestinal symptoms are loss of appetite, followed by nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Gastrointestinal imaging findings include bowel wall thickening, sometimes associated with hyperemia and mesenteric thickening, fluid-filled segments of the large bowel and rarely intestinal pneumatosis and ischemia. Hepatic involvement manifests as an increase in the enzymatic levels of alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, serum bilirubin and ?-glutamyl transferase with clinical manifestations in most cases mild and transient. The most frequent radiological features are hepatic steatosis, biliary sludge and gallstones. Edematous acute pancreatitis, kidney infarct and acute kidney injury from acute tubular necrosis have been described more rarely in COVID-19. Lastly, splenic involvement is characterized by splenomegaly and by the development of solitary or multifocal splenic infarcts with classic wedgeshaped or even rounded morphology, with irregular or smooth profiles. In summary, the abdominal radiological findings of COVID-19 are nonspecific and with poor pathological correlation reported in the literature. Ultrasound and particularly computed tomography with multiphasic acquisition are the diagnostic methods mainly utilized in COVID-19 patients with abdominal clinical symptoms and signs. Although radiological signs are not specific of abdominal and gastrointestinal involvement, the diagnostic imaging modalities and in particular computed tomography are helpful for the clinician in the management, evaluation of the severity and evolution of the COVID-19 patients.

Abdominal and gastrointestinal manifestations in COVID-19 patients: Is imaging useful?

Boraschi P.
Primo
Conceptualization
;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can be considered a systemic disease with a specific tropism for the vascular system, in which the alterations of the microcirculation have an important pathogenetic role. The lungs are the main organ involved in COVID-19, and severe progressive respiratory failure is the leading cause of death in the affected patients; however, many other organs can be involved with variable clinical manifestations. Concerning abdominal manifestations, the gastrointestinal tract and the hepatobiliary system are mainly affected, although the pancreas, urinary tract and spleen may also be involved. The most common gastrointestinal symptoms are loss of appetite, followed by nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Gastrointestinal imaging findings include bowel wall thickening, sometimes associated with hyperemia and mesenteric thickening, fluid-filled segments of the large bowel and rarely intestinal pneumatosis and ischemia. Hepatic involvement manifests as an increase in the enzymatic levels of alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, serum bilirubin and ?-glutamyl transferase with clinical manifestations in most cases mild and transient. The most frequent radiological features are hepatic steatosis, biliary sludge and gallstones. Edematous acute pancreatitis, kidney infarct and acute kidney injury from acute tubular necrosis have been described more rarely in COVID-19. Lastly, splenic involvement is characterized by splenomegaly and by the development of solitary or multifocal splenic infarcts with classic wedgeshaped or even rounded morphology, with irregular or smooth profiles. In summary, the abdominal radiological findings of COVID-19 are nonspecific and with poor pathological correlation reported in the literature. Ultrasound and particularly computed tomography with multiphasic acquisition are the diagnostic methods mainly utilized in COVID-19 patients with abdominal clinical symptoms and signs. Although radiological signs are not specific of abdominal and gastrointestinal involvement, the diagnostic imaging modalities and in particular computed tomography are helpful for the clinician in the management, evaluation of the severity and evolution of the COVID-19 patients.
2021
Boraschi, P.; Giugliano, L.; Mercogliano, G.; Donati, F.; Romano, S.; Neri, E.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1104498
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