The researchers, led by teams at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of North Carolina, set up an international registry to collect clinical details of patients with chronic liver disease and cirrhosis who develop COVID-19.
Between 25 March 2020 and 20 April 2020, 152 cases were submitted to the registry, over 95 percent of which were hospitalised. Patients with cirrhosis had poor outcomes with an overall death rate of 40 percent. Those with advanced disease called ‘decompensated cirrhosis’ had the highest rate of death (between 43 and 63 percent), compared with 12 percent for patients with liver disease but without cirrhosis.
Dr Thomas Marjot, who leads the project alongside Dr Gwilym Webb and Professor Ellie Barnes at the Translational Gastroenterology Unit at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital, said: “Until now, very little was known about the impact of COVID-19 on patients with pre-existing liver disease.