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Gastrointestinal symptoms in coronavirus disease 2019 presentation in Saudi Arabia

Hussein Balfaqih, Mobarak Alsaluli, Ali Alsalhi, Mohammed Aljawad, Mohammed Gana, Jehad Alsihati.


Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection has announced by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a pandemic disease in 2020. Identification and analysis of COVID-19 presentation are important for quick isolation and diagnosis. Respiratory symptoms are typically present in COVID-19 patients.

Objectives: The objectives of this study were to identify of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms and laboratory results in the initial presentation of COVID-19 patients.

Materials and Methods: Our study is a retrospective study of 379 COVID-19 patients’ assessments. They were admitted into government hospitals in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s South and East regions through April month 2020.

Results: About 14% of the patients were presented initially with GI symptoms only, in which Nausea and anorexia are the most common complain. The mean C-reactive protein, alanine aminotransferase , and aspartate aminotransferase levels were significantly elevated.

Conclusion: It is crucial for physicians to be aware that COVID-19 infection could present initially with GI-related symptoms and keep appropriate attention and suspicion.

Key words: Coronavirus Disease 2019; Gastrointestinal Symptoms; Laboratories Characteristics

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