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Abstract Background Gastrointestinal manifestations and hyperlipasemia commonly occur as part of novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19), while data on acute pancreatitis is limited to case reports. We aimed to study the prevalence of hyperlipasemia and acute pancreatitis in a large inpatient cohort of COVID-19 patients and their impact on clinical outcomes. Methods Retrospective chart review of all hospitalized patients with confirmed COVID-19 at an 8-hospital health system in Michigan, USA was performed between February 1,2020 through April 1,2020 with inclusion of patients with obtained lipase levels. Univariate analyses were performed to evaluate associations between hyperlipasemia and degree of hyperlipasemia and clinical outcomes of mechanical ventilation, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, and mortality. COVID-19 attributed pancreatitis was defined as an episode fulfilling criteria for acute pancreatitis defined earlier, a temporally associated diagnosis of COVID-19 and an exclusion of the most common etiologies of acute pancreatitis (gallstones, alcohol use, class IA/IB/II medication (by Badalov classification) use, endoscopic retrograde pancreatography, or metabolic etiologies (hypercalcemia, hypertriglyceridemia (>1000mg/ dl)). Results Prevalence of hyperlipasemia was 26.6% and of acute pancreatitis 0.33% in 301 patients with COVID-19. Patients with hyperlipasemia were older (p=0.044) and more likely to have chronic kidney disease (p=0.002) (Table 1). A total of 158 (52.5%) of patients reported at least one gastrointestinal symptom (abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea), and the presence of any gastrointestinal symptoms was not associated with the presence of hyperlipasemia (p=0.790). Neither presence of hyperlipasemia or its severity stratified into mild (60-120 U/L), moderate (120-180 U/L), and severe (>180 U/L) categories were associated with increased rates of mechanical ventilation, ICU admission or increased mortality (Table 2). Acute pancreatitis occurred in two patients of which one case was biliary in origin. Prevalence of COVID-19 acute pancreatitis in the reported cohort was 0.33%. Of the other patients with hyperlipasemia, 18 underwent computed tomography of the abdomen and an intra-abdominal process was identified in only two patients, with colitis identified in one patient, and ileus in another. Discussion and Conclusions Acute pancreatitis in COVID-19 patients is rare while hyperlipasemia is common. Hyperlipasemia in patients with COVID-19 is likely attributed to several non-pancreatic etiologies. Both hyperlipasemia in this population, and COVID-19 attributed acute pancreatitis do not appear to have significant impact on patients’ clinical outcomes.




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