Characteristics of PCR confirmed COVID-19 cases in patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases in Latvia

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The characteristics of coronavirus disease - 2019 (COVID-19) in patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases (AIRD) have rarely been reported and the data from all countries are expected to manage COVID-19 for AIRD patients. A retrospective observational study was performed in Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital and Riga East Clinical University Hospital outpatient departments from March 1 till December 31, 2020. Overall 3419 AIRD patients were consulted and 19 (0.55%) of them had COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 was proved with PCR in swabs. There were 12 females (63.16%) and 7 (36.84%) males with median age 52 (IQR 30 – 71) in COVID-19 positive group. The most common clinical symptoms of infection were fever (14 (73.68%) patients), fatigue (12 (63.16%) patients) and cough (8 (42.1%) patients). COVID -19 pneumonia had 4 (21.05%) patients and they were hospitalized. 2 (10.53%) patients had no symptoms of infection. The profile of rheumatic diseases in the infected group (cases) consisted of 5 diseases: rheumatoid arthritis (11 (57.89%)), ankylosing spondylitis (4 (21.05%)), psoriatic arthritis (1 (5.26%)), granulomatosis with polyangiitis (1 (5.26%), juvenile idiopathic arthritis (1 (5.26%)). Rheumatic disease remission or low disease activity was observed in 15 (78.95%) patients, moderate disease activity – in 2 (10.53%) patients and an active disease in 2 (10.53%) patients. Almost all patients stopped AIRD specific therapy during COVID-19, but 3 (15.79%) patients continued (sulfasalazine, etanercept, prednisolone). In 2 weeks after the last day of COVID-19 symptoms 17 (89.47%) patients resumed disease modified antirheumatic drugs. There were no data of AIRD exacerbation during or after COVID -19. Comorbidities had 11(57.89%) patients, the most common was an arterial hypertension (63.64%). Preliminary data shows that patients with AIRD have low risk of critical COVID-19. Further studies are needed to confirm a risk degree for a critical COVID-19 development in AIRD population.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2021
EventRSU Research week 2021: Knowledge for Use in Practice - Rīga, Latvia
Duration: 24 Mar 202126 Mar 2021


ConferenceRSU Research week 2021: Knowledge for Use in Practice
Abbreviated titleRW2021
Internet address

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)


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