Publication date: Sep 22, 2023
Objective: Beginning in October 2021 in the US and elsewhere, cases of severe pediatric hepatitis of unknown etiology were identified in young children. While the adenovirus and adenovirus-associated virus have emerged as leading etiologic suspects, we attempted to investigate a potential role for SARS-CoV-2 in the development of subsequent liver abnormalities. Design: We conducted a study utilizing retrospective cohorts of de-identified, aggregated data from the electronic health records of over 100 million patients contributed by US health care organizations. Results: Compared to propensity-score-matched children with other respiratory infections, children aged 1-10 years with COVID-19 had a higher risk of elevated transaminases (Hazard ratio (HR) (95% Confidence interval (CI)) 2.16 (1.74-2.69)) or total bilirubin (HR (CI) 3.02 (1.91-4.78)), or new diagnoses of liver diseases (HR (CI) 1.67 (1.21-2.30)) from one to six months after infection. Patients with pre-existing liver abnormalities, liver abnormalities surrounding acute infection, younger age (1-4 years), or illness requiring hospitalization all had similarly elevated risk. Children who developed liver abnormalities following COVID-19 had more pre-existing conditions than those who developed abnormalities following other infections. Conclusion: These results indicate that SARS-CoV-2 may prime the patient for subsequent development of liver infections or non-infectious liver diseases. While rare (~1 in 1,000), SARS-CoV-2 is a risk for subsequent abnormalities in liver function or the diagnosis of diseases of the liver.
|disease||MESH||alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency|