Topical Collection "Gastroenterological Aspects of COVID-19 Infection"
Clinic of Gastroenterology, Tsaritsa Joanna University Hospital, Medical University of Sofia, 1527 Sofia, Bulgaria
Interests: IBD; neurogatroenterology; endoscopy; IBS; colonoscopy; microbiome; FMT; transthyretin amyloidosis; xenobiotics
* We dedicate the memory of the editor, Dr. Radislav Nakov, who passed away during this special issue period.
Department of Gastroenterology, University Hospital Lozenetz, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, 1407 Sofia, Bulgaria
Interests: endoscopy; gastrointestinal oncology; IBD; hepatology; microbiome
Topical Collection Information
The gastrointestinal tract is one of the most vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection systems. As the first line for physical and immunological defense, the intestinal immune system is essential since the gastrointestinal tract can also be a crucial entrance or an interaction site during COVID-19. In addition, patients with gastrointestinal disorders have been associated with poorer clinical outcomes after infection. The liver can also be damaged by the virus or drugs used for treatment.
This Special Issue is devoted to recent and novel insights and perspectives regarding virus–immune cells interactions, immunological mechanisms and processes inside the intestinal mucosa throughout the illness, the involvement of the gastrointestinal tract in SARS-CoV-2 infection, symptoms, complications, therapeutic options, the role of the microbiome in the infection, vaccination for people with gastrointestinal diseases, etc.
Dr. Tsvetelina Velikova
Dr. Radislav Nakov
Dr. Monika Peshevska-Sekulovska
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- gut mucosa
- ACE II
- mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue
- secretory immunoglobulin A
- gut microbiota
- gastrointestinal disorders
- gastrointestinal symptoms
- COVID-19 vaccine
- liver failure
- drug-induced live injury
Published Papers (8 papers)
Clinical and Laboratory Manifestation of Gastrointestinal Involvement in MIS-C: A Single-Center Observational Study
Viewed by 819
Background: Digestive symptoms and gastrointestinal issues in children with coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19) and Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) are commonly reported in pediatric studies from different countries. Our retrospective observational study aimed to summarize the main digestive symptoms and objective data
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Background: Digestive symptoms and gastrointestinal issues in children with coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19) and Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) are commonly reported in pediatric studies from different countries. Our retrospective observational study aimed to summarize the main digestive symptoms and objective data on gastrointestinal involvement in children with MIS-C. Methods: We present the clinical, laboratory, and imaging data of 51 children with MIS-C hospitalized in a single center from 25 November 2020 to 24 April 2021, focusing on gastrointestinal involvement. Results: A total of 46/51 children (90.2%) reported at least one abdominal symptom (abdominal pain (86%, N = 44), vomiting, nausea, diarrhea), predominantly at presentation. Most children were older than 5 years (N = 40, 78%), predominated by the male sex (N = 37, 72.5%), and with a mean age of 8.82 ± 4.16 years. We found a tendency for lymphopenia, neutrophilia, and higher levels of CRP, d-dimer, and ferritin in MIS-C patients with abdominal pain (R-squared 0.188, F-statistic vs. constant model: 11.9, p
-value = 0.00122, 20% explanation of variation with p
= 0.001). We found a statistically significant linear relationship (regression) between neutrophile percentage (NEU%) and hospital stay and a tendency for elevated transaminases to be more frequent in older children (27.3% under 5 years and 65% over 5 years; p
= 0.0583). We found no significant associations between digestive symptoms and age or the predominant SARS-CoV-2 variant. Conclusions: Most of our MIS-C patients presented with abdominal pain, usually along with other GI symptoms, which could be applied in clinical practice to MIS-C in children visiting the emergency room with abdominal pain and evidence of recent COVID-19 contact or infection. Further information from larger cohorts of MIS-C patients is needed to better understand the epidemiology of gastrointestinal involvement in these patients.
Features of Liver Injury in COVID-19 Pathophysiological, Biological and Clinical Particularities
Viewed by 1567
The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020 has caused unprecedented pressure on public health and healthcare. The spectrum of COVID-19 onset is large, from mild cases with minor symptoms to severe forms with multi-organ dysfunction and death. In COVID-19, multiple organ
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The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020 has caused unprecedented pressure on public health and healthcare. The spectrum of COVID-19 onset is large, from mild cases with minor symptoms to severe forms with multi-organ dysfunction and death. In COVID-19, multiple organ damage has been described, including lung damage, acute kidney injury, liver damage, stroke, cardiovascular and digestive tract disorders. The aspects of liver injury are different, sometimes presenting with only a slight increase in liver enzymes, but sometimes with severe liver injury, leading to acute liver failure requiring liver transplantation. In patients with chronic liver disease, especially liver cirrhosis, immune dysfunction can increase the risk of infection. Immune dysfunction has a multifactorial physiopathological mechanism, implying a complement system and macrophage activation, lymphocyte and neutrophil activity dysfunction, and intestinal dysbiosis. This review aims to evaluate the most relevant studies published in the last years related to the etiopathogenetic, biochemical, and histological aspects of liver injury in patients diagnosed with COVID-19. Liver damage is more evident in patients with underlying chronic liver disease, with a significantly higher risk of developing severe outcomes of COVID-19 and death. Systemic inflammation, coagulation disorders, endothelial damage, and immune dysfunction explain the pathogenic mechanisms involved in impaired liver function. Although various mechanisms of action of SARS-CoV-2 on the liver cell have been studied, the impact of the direct viral effect on hepatocytes is not yet established.
Abdominal and Thoracic Imaging Features in Children with MIS-C
Cited by 2
| Viewed by 1555
(1) Background: Currently, multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is diagnosed based on clinical symptoms and laboratory findings of inflammation in the body. Once MIS-C is diagnosed, children will need to be followed over time. The imaging modalities most commonly used in the
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(1) Background: Currently, multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is diagnosed based on clinical symptoms and laboratory findings of inflammation in the body. Once MIS-C is diagnosed, children will need to be followed over time. The imaging modalities most commonly used in the evaluation of patients with MIS-C include radiographs, ultrasound (US), and computed tomography (CT). Our study aims to summarise the literature data for the main gastrointestinal and pulmonary imaging features in children diagnosed with MIS-C and to share a single-centre experience. (2) Methods: We present the imaging findings in a cohort of 51 children diagnosed with MIS-C, admitted between December 2020 and February 2022. Imaging studies include chest and abdominal radiographs, thoracic, abdominal, and neck US and echocardiography (ECHO), and CT of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis. (3) Results: In accordance with the results in other studies, our observations show predominantly gastrointestinal involvement (GI) with ascites (33/51, 65%) and lymphadenopathy (19/51, 37%), ileitis or colitis (18/51, 35%), some cases of splenomegaly (9/51, 18%), hepatomegaly (8/51, 16%), and a few cases of renal enlargement (3/51, 6%) and gallbladder fossa oedema/wall thickening (2/51, 4%). Most common among the thoracic findings are posterior–basal consolidations (16/51, 31%), pleural effusion (14/51, 27%), and ground-glass opacities (12/51, 24%). We also register the significant involvement of the cardiovascular system with pericarditis (30/51, 58%), pericardial effusion (16/51, 31%), and myocarditis (6/51, 12%). (4) Conclusions: Radiologists should be aware of those imaging findings in order to take an important and active role not only in applying an accurate diagnosis, but also in the subsequent management of children with MIS-C. Radiological findings are not the primary diagnostic tool, but can assist in the evaluation of the affected systems and guide treatment.
Gastrointestinal Ischemia—Stumbling Stone in COVID-19 Patients
Cited by 3
| Viewed by 2025
The emergence of the novel SARS-CoV2 virus, proclaimed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a culpable agent for the pandemic situation, caught the scientific and medical communities off guard. One of the most common complications following pulmonary disease is represented by gastrointestinal
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The emergence of the novel SARS-CoV2 virus, proclaimed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a culpable agent for the pandemic situation, caught the scientific and medical communities off guard. One of the most common complications following pulmonary disease is represented by gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, especially ischemic damage. Inflammation, vasculopathy, immobility, endothelial dysfunction, and a hypercoagulable condition have all been proposed as pathophysiological factors for GI ischemia in these patients. Owing to the COVID-19 effect on a variety of GI conditions, especially ischemic changes, and the high mortality rate, physicians should always keep in mind this complication. They should take a deeper look at clinical and imaging modalities in this cohort of patients so that a proper and time-saving treatment strategy can be applied. Our study aimed to elucidate the thrombogenic mechanism in different GI disorders. Moreover, we analyzed the factors related to necrotic GI changes, by summarizing the already reported data of GI ischemia in COVID-19. To the best of our knowledge, this review is the first to incorporate all GI ischemia cases reported in the literature so far.
Telemedicine Is an Effective Tool to Monitor Disease Activity in IBD Patients in the COVID-19 Era: A Single Centre Experience Based on Objective Data
Cited by 3
| Viewed by 2708
Background: The COVID-19 outbreak has led IBD clinics to adopt a remote monitoring approach in order to guarantee an adequate follow-up of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and ensure the rules of social distancing. Aim: The aim of the study was to
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Background: The COVID-19 outbreak has led IBD clinics to adopt a remote monitoring approach in order to guarantee an adequate follow-up of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and ensure the rules of social distancing. Aim: The aim of the study was to perform a survey on IBD patients who underwent remote monitoring in our tertiary referral center, to assess adherence, patients’ perceptions and satisfaction, and finally their opinions for future monitoring. Furthermore, we evaluated changes in disease activity and Quality of Life (QoL) using validated questionnaires. Methods: Consecutive patients with IBD scheduled for follow-up visits were switched to remote monitoring through e-mail from March 2020 to February 2021. Patients were asked to complete a questionnaire focusing on the following elements of the intervention: (1) self-assessment questions, (2) action plans, and (3) educational messages. Results: Four hundred and twenty four Caucasian patients completed the survey. 233 (55.1%) were male, 220 (52.0%) had Crohn’s Disease (CD). Median baseline Mayo Score and Harvey Bradshaw Index were 3 and 4, respectively. 9 (2.1%) patients were referred to the emergency department because of disease flares. 410 (96.9%) patients were satisfied with telemedicine, and 320 (76.5%) patients reported that they would maintain this approach also after COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, on univariate logistic regression analysis, none of the variables were related to patients’ satisfaction or to an improved QoL. The presence of ulcerative colitis was associated with the need for treatment change. Conclusions: Our results suggest that a telemedicine approach is well accepted by patients with IBD and could represent an effective tool in monitoring disease activity. Further controlled studies are warranted to properly assess if telemedicine can replace face-to-face consultations in IBD.
COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Impact on Training Programs of Medical Residency in Romania
Cited by 2
| Viewed by 2705
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the training process for resident physicians. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on professional training, and also the subjective perception of the levels of stress,
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Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the training process for resident physicians. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on professional training, and also the subjective perception of the levels of stress, anxiety, and depression among resident doctors specializing in gastroenterology in Romania. Methods: We conducted an observational cross-sectional study, for a period of two months, among 180 resident doctors specializing in gastroenterology, working in university hospitals in Romania. A questionnaire consisting of 29 questions distributed through social media platforms was completed in Google Forms. Statistical analyses were performed using IBM SPSS software v.20. Results: A linear relationship was identified between the number of daily hospitalizations in the gastroenterology department and the rate of SARS-CoV-2 infection among resident physicians. In total, 80% of the participants reported an increase in the levels of stress, anxiety, and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 88.3% stated that they were unsatisfied by online courses. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic has had negative effects on both professional training and levesl of stress, anxiety and depression of resident doctors specializing in gastroenterology. In the specialty of gastroenterology there may be certain peculiarities, due to the interventional aspects that this medical specialty involves, for example, endoscopic procedures. Thus, the necessity to acquire practical skills in addition to theoretical knowledge increases the negative impact on gastroenterology internship.
Gastrointestinal Microbiota Dysbiosis Associated with SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Colorectal Cancer: The Implication of Probiotics
Cited by 8
| Viewed by 2854
The complexity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)’s pathophysiology is such that microbial dysbiosis in the lung and gastrointestinal (GI) microbiota may be involved in its pathogenic process. GI microbiota dysbiosis has been associated with respiratory disorders, including COVID-19, as well as sporadic colorectal
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The complexity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)’s pathophysiology is such that microbial dysbiosis in the lung and gastrointestinal (GI) microbiota may be involved in its pathogenic process. GI microbiota dysbiosis has been associated with respiratory disorders, including COVID-19, as well as sporadic colorectal cancer (CRC) through imbalanced microbiota and compromised immune response. It is pertinent to understand the possible role of probiotics in stabilizing the microbial environment and maintaining the integrity of the respiratory and GI tracts in SARS-CoV-2 induced dysbiosis and colorectal carcinogenesis. The long-term implication of SARS-CoV-2 in GI dysbiosis via microbiota-gut-lung cross-talk could increase the risk of new CRC diagnosis or worsen the condition of previously diagnosed individuals. Recent knowledge shows that the immune-modulatory response to probiotics is shifting the beneficial use of probiotics towards the treatment of various diseases. In this review, we highlight the potential impact of probiotics on SARS-CoV-2 infection associated with CRC through microbiota imbalance in COVID-19 patients.
COVID-19 and the Gastrointestinal Tract
Cited by 5
| Viewed by 2832
Since it was discovered at the end of 2019; the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has made a serious public health threat worldwide, with over 175 million confirmed cases reported globally. Even
[...] Read more.
Since it was discovered at the end of 2019; the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has made a serious public health threat worldwide, with over 175 million confirmed cases reported globally. Even when COVID-19 was initially considered a respiratory disease, it was actually known to be multisystemic, with gastrointestinal involvement a common clinical finding. Furthermore, COVID-19 may affect patients with gastrointestinal comorbidities, being the clinical intersectionality of utmost interest for gastroenterologists; critical care physicians and all the healthcare team taking care of COVID-19 patients. The present article presents a brief review of the reported gastrointestinal manifestations of COVID-19 disease in both previously healthy individuals and in patients with gastrointestinal comorbidities.