Scientific article
Open access

Abdominal pain patterns during COVID-19: an observational study

Published inScientific reports, vol. 12, 14677
Publication date2022-08-29
First online date2022-08-29

Abdominal pain and liver injury have been frequently reported during coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). Our aim was to investigate characteristics of abdominal pain in COVID-19 patients and their association with disease severity and liver injury. Data of all COVID-19 patients hospitalized during the first wave in one hospital were retrieved. Patients admitted exclusively for other pathologies and/or recovered from COVID-19, as well as pregnant women were excluded. Patients whose abdominal pain was related to alternative diagnosis were also excluded. Among the 1026 included patients, 200 (19.5%) exhibited spontaneous abdominal pain and 165 (16.2%) after abdomen palpation. Spontaneous pain was most frequently localized in the epigastric (42.7%) and right upper quadrant (25.5%) regions. Tenderness in the right upper region was associated with severe COVID-19 (hospital mortality and/or admission to intensive/intermediate care unit) with an adjusted odds ratio of 2.81 (95% CI 1.27-6.21, p = 0.010). Patients with history of lower abdomen pain experimented less frequently dyspnea compared to patients with history of upper abdominal pain (25.8 versus 63.0%, p < 0.001). Baseline transaminases elevation was associated with history of pain in epigastric and right upper region and AST elevation was strongly associated with severe COVID-19 with an odds ratio of 16.03 (95% CI 1.95-131.63 p = 0.010). More than one fifth of patients admitted for COVID-19 presented abdominal pain. Those with pain located in the upper abdomen were more at risk of dyspnea, demonstrated more altered transaminases, and presented a higher risk of adverse outcomes.

  • Abdomen
  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • COVID-19 / complications
  • Dyspnea
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Transaminases
Citation (ISO format)
BALAPHAS, Alexandre et al. Abdominal pain patterns during COVID-19: an observational study. In: Scientific reports, 2022, vol. 12, p. 14677. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-18753-0
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Article (Published version)
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ISSN of the journal2045-2322

Technical informations

Creation09/01/2022 2:04:00 PM
First validation09/01/2022 2:04:00 PM
Update time03/16/2023 10:26:24 AM
Status update03/16/2023 10:26:21 AM
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