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Revista de Gastroenterología del Perú

Print version ISSN 1022-5129


MARIN-DUENAS, Ivania et al. Alteration in liver function tests among patients hospitalized for COVID-19: a multicentric study in Peru. Rev. gastroenterol. Perú [online]. 2021, vol.41, n.2, pp.86-93. ISSN 1022-5129.


COVID-19 affects the liver, causing alteration in liver biochemistry tests such as aspartate transferase (AST), alanine transferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), total bilirubin and albumin.


To determine the prevalence of alteration in liver functions tests and associated factors for severity among Peruvian COVID-19 patients.

Materials and methods:

A descriptive, retrospective and cross-sectional study was performed in 4 public hospitals in Peru. Patients admitted to hospitalization wards and intensive care units with a diagnosis COVID-19 were enrolled. The evaluation of AST, ALT, ALP, total bilirubin and albumin was performed. Associations with demographic and medical data were assessed.


1,100 patients were enrolled, of which 81.7% had altered liver function tests. Only 2.8% of the patients had cirrhosis and 2.1% hepatitis B/C virus. AST and ALT were altered at admission in 64.7% and 63.7%, of the patients respectively. Factors associated with liver injury were: being female OR=0.53 (95% CI: 0.39-0.73; p<0.01), dyslipidemia OR=1.72 (95% CI: 1.10-2.70; p=0.01), previous medication OR=1.56 (95% CI: 1.12 -2.16, p<0.01) and fever OR=1.43 (95% CI: 1.03-1.199, p=0.03). Disease severity was associated with levels of AST and ALT (p<0.01). Patients taking self-medication OR=1.56 (95% CI: 1.12-2.16; p<0.01) and paracetamol OR= 1.41 (95% CI:1.01-1.98; p=0.04) had higher risk of liver injury. Meanwhile, corticosteroids OR=0.55 (95% CI: 0.38-0.78; p<0.01) and enoxaparin OR=0.53 (95% CI: 0.35- 0.81; p<0.01) were protective factors.


Peruvian patients with COVID-19 presented high prevalence of alteration in liver function tests, high levels of AST and ALT were related to disease severity.

Keywords : COVID-19; Liver; Peru.

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