Published online Jun 14, 2021. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v27.i22.3022
Peer-review started: January 24, 2021
First decision: March 7, 2021
Revised: March 24, 2021
Accepted: April 21, 2021
Article in press: April 21, 2021
Published online: June 14, 2021
In the early December 2019, a novel coronavirus named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 was first reported in Wuhan, China, followed by an outbreak that spread around the world. Numerous studies have shown that liver injury is common in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and may aggravate the severity of the disease. However, the exact cause and specific mechanism of COVID-associated liver injury needs to be elucidated further. In this review, we present an analysis of the clinical features, potential mechanisms, and treatment strategies for liver injury associated with COVID-19. We hope that this review would benefit clinicians in devising better strategies for management of such patients.
Core Tip: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has assumed pandemic proportions, and has resulted in several hundred thousand deaths globally. Although the lung is the main organ that is damaged in COVID-19, approximately 60% of the patients have been reported to develop various degrees of liver injury in several studies. Accumulating clinical data show that liver damage is related to the severity of COVID-19 and is a major cause of death from COVID-19, especially in the presence of hepatic failure. The exact cause of liver injury in patients with COVID-19 remains unclear and the specific underlying mechanism(s) need to be elucidated.