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VOLUME 25 , ISSUE 11 ( November, 2021 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

Frequency and Impact of Preadmission Digestive Symptoms on Outcome in Severe COVID-19: A Prospective Observational Cohort Study

Manoj Kumar Rathiswamy

Keywords : Gastrointestinal complications, Intensive care, Mortality prediction, Severe COVID-19

Citation Information : Rathiswamy MK. Frequency and Impact of Preadmission Digestive Symptoms on Outcome in Severe COVID-19: A Prospective Observational Cohort Study. Indian J Crit Care Med 2021; 25 (11):1247-1257.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-24020

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 16-11-2021

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2021; The Author(s).


Background: Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) commonly presents with respiratory symptoms. However, symptoms involving the digestive system may be present, significance of which is not well studied in the Indian scenario. Methods: This prospective observational cohort study included consecutive patients with severe COVID-19 admitted to intensive care unit of our tertiary care hospital from September 9, 2020, to March 14, 2021. We evaluated the frequency of preadmission digestive symptoms and compared the demographic, clinical, laboratory parameters, and organ failure at admission and during intensive care along with mortality between those with and without digestive symptoms. In the digestive group, we sought to find predictors of mortality. Results: Digestive symptoms were present in 76/234 (32.4%) with severe COVID-19 infection. In comparison to nondigestive group, digestive patients had higher need for noninvasive ventilation (p 0.028), invasive lines (68%, p 0.003), vasopressors (64%, p 0.01), blood product transfusion (21.1%, p <0.001), and heart failure (55.4%, p 0.041). Confounding factors of alcohol abuse, smoking, sedentary lifestyle as a causative agent for heart failure could not be ruled out. Proportional mortality rate is higher in the digestive group (65.8%, p = 0.015). Mortality is multifactorial with preadmission abdominal pathologies (HR 4.3) or central nervous system (CNS)-related comorbidities (HR 2.829), presentation with multiple digestive symptoms (HR 6.9), higher sequential organ failure assessment score (SOFA) score at admission (HR 1.258) and discharge (HR 1.162), and presence of acute kidney injury (AKI) Grade 3 (HR 2.95) as predictors of mortality. After adjusting for all confounders, need for vasopressor was observed to be associated with 11.58 times higher risk of mortality. Conclusion: Preadmission digestive symptoms may be associated with a turbulent illness with invasive interventions, heart failure, and greater proportional mortality in severe COVID-19. AKI Grade 3 is identified as a preventable risk factor predicting mortality. CTRI/2021/03/032325.

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