Home Article 16% of patients would present only gastrointestinal symptoms

16% of patients would present only gastrointestinal symptoms

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NBC News


Canadian researchers recently showed that gastrointestinal symptoms could be a sign of SARS-CoV-2 infection, even when these were not accompanied by breathing problems.

Thirty-six publications analyzed

About one in five patients with Covid-19 would only show gastrointestinal symptoms, according to a meta-analysis by researchers at theUniversity of Alberta (Canada) and published in the journal Abdominal Radiology. To reach these conclusions, the team looked at 36 studies published between March 31 and July 15, 2020. For the researchers, such results suggest that special attention during abdominal imaging tests may aid in the diagnosis of disease.

If the gastrointestinal symptoms associated with infection with SARS-CoV-2 can be very variable, they usually include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and general abdominal pain. The meta-analysis showed that 18% of patients who tested positive for Covid-19 suffered from such disorders, while 16% of the cases treated presented only this type of symptoms.

There is a growing body of work showing abdominal symptoms are prevalent in patients with Covid-19 ”, Notes Mitch Wilson, lead author of the study.

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Disorders visible during imaging exams

The researchers also mentioned the disorders visible on imaging tests that may indicate an infection with the SARS-CoV-2. These include inflammation of the small and large intestines, the presence of air in the intestinal wall (pneumatosis) as well as perforation of the intestine (pneumoperitoneum). Although quite rare, these disorders would indicate that patients are at an advanced stage of the disease.

Observing such disorders does not necessarily mean that a patient has Covid-19 “, valued Wilson. ” This could be due to a variety of potential causes. But one of those potential causes is infection with the virus, and in an environment where Covid-19 is very prevalent, this is a possibility that should be seriously considered by practitioners.. “

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