A cross sectional analysis of the gastrointestinal symptoms in covid- 19 infected patients and comparison of treatment outcome in patients presenting only with gastrointestinal symptoms, patients presenting gastrointestinal & respiratory symptoms and pat

Research Article
*Sapna Gokul
COVID-19; Gastrointestinal symptoms; Respiratory symptoms; Treatment outcome

Background and objectives: The corona virus -2 (SARS-coV-2) is the cause for the global pandemic and COVID 19 infection presents with a myriad of symptoms that is not limited to only the respiratory system. The prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms requires significant attention owing to its common occurrence among patients with COVID-19 infections. The most common GI symptoms reported in COVID 19 infection are diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal discomfort and found present in almost 25– 27% of patients in some populations. The aim of the present study is to detect the pronounced prevalence of clinical GI symptom in patients with Covid 19 infection, as well as the comparison of impact of treatment outcomes in patients presenting with only GI symptoms and patient presenting with respiratory symptoms. Methodology: Data was obtained from electronic medical records of 752 COVID-19 confirmed patients hospitalized at a jumbo covid facility of Mumbai metropolitan region. The presenting signs and symptoms of the study participants were extracted from the electronic medical records for further analysis. Informed consent was obtained from the participants and the institution ethics committee clearance was obtained prior to the commencement of the study. The obtained data was statistically analysed at confidence interval of 95% (p<0.05). Results and Discussion: 752 patients with overall sex ratio of 1.46:1 (M 447, F 305) were evaluated. Of these 246 patients presented with GI symptoms only [1.05:1 (M 126, F 120)]. Mean oxygen saturation in GI only symptom group (97.58 + 1.53%) was significantly higher than respiratory symptom only group (97.16 + 1.96%), duration of hospital stay was 8.54 + 3.55 days in GI group which was significantly higher. Of the total number of participants, 621 patients completely recovered while remaining 131 shifted to ICU. Outcome of treatment was not associated with presenting symptom in Covid 19 infection (p = 0.314). Conclusion:  The findings of the present study showed that the overall prevalence of GI symptoms in COVID 19 affected individuals was 66.35% and around one-third of the patients presented only with GI symptoms. The mean oxygen saturation and the mean hospitalization was also significantly different in patients with only GI symptoms. Gastrointestinal symptoms such as anorexia, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea can be common presenting symptoms in COVID-19 not only in combination with respiratory symptoms but in rare cases as sole presenting symptom.