According to the outcomes of a brand-new research study, COVID-19 infection is connected with increased liver stiffness, an indication of possible long-lasting liver injury.
COVID-19 Patients Show Liver Injury Months After Infection
COVID-19 infection is linked with increased liver stiffness, a sign of possible long-term liver injury. This is according to the results of a new research study provided at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
” Our research study becomes part of emerging evidence that COVID-19 infection might cause liver injury that lasts well after the intense disease,” stated Firouzeh Heidari, M.D., a post-doctorate research study fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
Liver stiffness is a marker of liver damage, such as swelling or fibrosis. Over time, healthy liver tissue reduces, and the liver can no longer function correctly.
In the retrospective study, the researchers compared liver stiffness of patients with a history of COVID-19 infection to two control groups. All clients underwent ultrasound shear wave elastography in between 2019 and 2022 at Massachusetts General Hospital. Shear wave elastography is a specialized method that utilizes sound waves to measure the stiffness of tissue.
The shear wave speed of 1.91 m/s corresponds to Youngs modulus of 10.94 kPa which shows unusually high liver tightness and may reflect chronic liver injury. The COVID-19 positive group consisted of 31 clients who had a positive COVID-19 PCR test result at least 12 weeks before the elastography test. The pandemic control group consisted of a random sample of 50 patients who went through elastography during the COVID-19 pandemic and had a history of just unfavorable COVID-19 PCR test results.
The mean age was 53.1 years for the COVID-positive clients, 55.2 years for the pandemic control group, and 58.2 years for the pre-pandemic control group. Of the total friend, 67 were women. In the COVID-positive group, elastography tests were carried out an average of 44 weeks after a positive PCR test outcome.
The shear wave speed of 1.26 m/s corresponds to Youngs modulus of 4.76 kPa which suggests regular liver stiffness. After managing for sex, age, and time duration, a statistical analysis of the elastography results exposed that COVID-positive clients had a statistically significant greater liver stiffness than the control patients.
COVID-positive patients had a greater average live tightness (7.68 kPa) than pandemic control clients (5.99 kPa).
Suddenly, the pre-pandemic control group also had a higher mean tightness (7.01) compared to the pandemic control group. The factor for this finding is not yet understood however is believed to be an outcome of altering recommendation patterns during the pandemic. Furthermore, patients referred for elastography before the pandemic were noted to be older than clients referred after the start of the pandemic.
” We dont yet know if raised liver stiffness observed after COVID-19 infection will cause unfavorable client results,” Dr. Heidari stated. “We are presently investigating whether the intensity of acute COVID-related symptoms is predictive of long-term liver injury severity. We hope to improve our existing database with extra patient data and a wider scope of co-variates to better comprehend the post-acute effects of COVID-19 within the liver.”
Co-authors are Theodore Pierce, M.D., Anthony Samir, M.D., M.P.H., Arinc Ozturk, M.D., Madhangi Parameswaran, M.B.B.S., M.Res., Marian Martin, M.D., M.P.H., and Hannah Edenbaum, M.S.
Meeting: 108th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America
In the retrospective research study, the scientists compared liver stiffness of patients with a history of COVID-19 infection to 2 control groups. The shear wave speed of 1.91 m/s corresponds to Youngs modulus of 10.94 kPa which shows abnormally high liver tightness and may reflect chronic liver injury.
Liver tightness is a marker of liver damage, such as inflammation or fibrosis. Over time, healthy liver tissue decreases, and the liver can no longer operate properly. Progressive fibrosis can lead to liver cancer and liver failure.