COVID virus has variable effects on our body tissues and cells and it can affect almost every cell of our body, primarily being the respiratory system.
Liver is an important organ of the human body as it takes care of numerous functions related with digestion and immune system right from newborn till geriatric ages. Recent research indicates higher rates of irregular liver testing in COVID affected patients in India and abroad. Higher hepatic enzyme levels tend to be associated with a higher risk of adverse outcome and death.
Due to the directly infecting virus in the human body, it affects the liver cells; liver damage in COVID-19 patients may be caused to an extensive level. In the previous research, several viruses mainly affecting the upper respiratory tract have also infected the liver. These viruses include SARS, and MERS-CoV, the source of respiratory syndrome in the Middle East. Of about 90% of patients with SARS-CoV19 had reduced lymphocytes, 25% had diarrhea, and 66% had a high concentration of plasma liver enzymes in a report. The elevation of liver enzymes and liver lesions of such patients should be taken into account. In the deceased SARS patients, liver cells with SARS-CoV19 protein were identified.
An irregular liver function may mean that COVID-19 patients are recovering worse. The long term follows up of COVID-19 patients following hospital discharge should illustrate improvements in liver function and stress the need to use sufficient intervention to restore liver function. The liver infection after COVID-19 can get even worse if not taken care of properly.
A review of data from China shows an irregular liver test outcome for around 15 percent of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Corona virus after-effects can be seen in several people.
Apart from direct viral toxicity to liver cells, Many of the medicines used to treat COVID can also cause damage to liver cells. We need to monitor liver functions in COVID in-patients during treatment and even after stopping treatment for few days. Recent literature suggest in majority of patients there is no evidence of chronic liver damage leading to long term adverse outcome in COVID recovered patients. Extra care is needed in patients who are already having some underlying liver disease like chronic viral hepatitis and liver cirrhosis.