Post-COVID-19 liver injury: Comprehensive imaging with multiparametric ultrasound

Maija Radzina, Davis Simanis Putrins (Coresponding Author), Arta Micena, Ieva Vanaga, Oksana Koļesova, Ardis Platkājis, Ludmila Vīksna

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Abstract

Objectives: This study aimed to define patterns of liver injury after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection using multiparametric ultrasound (mpUS) in a variable patient population with differing severities of COVID-19. Methods: Ninety patients were enrolled into the study: 56 had SARS-CoV-2 3–9 months prior to enrolment; 34 served as a clinically healthy control group. All patients underwent an mpUS evaluation of the liver (elastography, dispersion and attenuation imaging). Seventy-six patients had abdominal magnetic resonance (MR) and noncontrast enhanced thoracic computed tomography (CT) scans performed at the same day. All patients were screened for biochemical markers of liver injury. Results: Liver elasticity, viscosity, and steatosis values were significantly altered in patients after COVID-19, with particularly higher fibrosis scores compared to the control group (P <.001). Increased biochemical markers of liver injury correlated with changes in mpUS (P <.05), but not with findings on CT or MR findings. Seventeen of 34 hospitalized patients had a moderate or severe course of the disease course with more pronounced changes in mpUS. Increased body mass index was found to influence liver injury and correlated with more severe forms of COVID-19 (P <.001). Conclusions: COVID-19 can cause liver injury observable using mpUS. More severe forms of COVID-19 and patient obesity are related to increased values of liver damage observed. In comparison to MRI and CT, mpUS appears to be more sensitive to involvement of liver parenchyma. Further research is warranted to establish this promising method for evaluating post-COVID-19 liver involvement in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Ultrasound in Medicine
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 9 Jul 2021

Keywords*

  • Covid-19
  • liver injury
  • multiparametric ultrasound

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine
  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database

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