Abnormal Liver Tests in Patients Hospitalized With Coronavirus Disease 2019: Should We Worry?

Magdalena Meszaros; Lucy Meunier; David Morquin; Kada Klouche; Pierre Fesler; Emilie Malezieux; Alain Makinson; Vincent Le Moing; Jacques Reynes; Georges-Philippe Pageaux


Liver International. 2020;40(8):1860-1864. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


While several studies from China have reported COVID-19-related liver injury, there are currently no data on liver dysfunction in hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Europe. The aim of this study was to describe the prevalence and predictive value of abnormal liver function in patients hospitalized with COVID-19. This was a retrospective cohort study of confirmed COVID-19 patients hospitalized in two referral hospitals in France. Clinical, biological and radiological data were collected and analysed. In all, 234 patients confirmed to have COVID-19 by RT-PCR were included. Liver function was abnormal in 66.6% of patients on admission. In multivariate logistic regression, abnormal liver test on admission were associated with in-hospital aggravation (OR = 4.1, 95% CI 1.5–10.8; P = .004) and mortality (OR 3.3; 95% CI = 1.04–10.5; P = .04). This study of liver tests in a European COVID-19 population confirms a high prevalence of abnormal liver tests on admission that are predictive of severe disease course and higher in-hospital mortality.


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) mainly causes acute respiratory disease, but it can also cause multiple organ failure. 14% to 76.3% of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients have abnormal liver function tests,[1–7] and these patients have been reported to be more likely to progress to severe pneumonia. However, these data come from Chinese populations, and there are no specific data on COVID-19 patients in Europe. This knowledge gap prompted us to study the prevalence of abnormal liver function tests and the relationship between abnormal liver function and clinical outcome in a multicentre cohort study of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in France.