COVID-19-associated acute pancreatitis: a systematic review of case reports.
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Publication date: 2023-06-07
Przegl Epidemiol 2023;77(1):66-73

INTRODUCTION. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mainly involves the respiratory system but can also affect the digestive system and cause several gastrointestinal manifestations. Acute pancreatitis has been reported as one of the rare presentations of COVID-19. This study aimed to systematically review case reports on COVID-19-associated acute pancreatitis.
METHODS. Publications were retrieved through a comprehensive search in four databases on October 1, 2021.
Eligible ones that demonstrated the potential association of acute pancreatitis and COVID-19 were included for data extraction.
RESULTS. After screening 855 citations, 82 articles containing 95 cases were included, and their data were extracted. The most common presentation was abdominal pain (88/95, 92.6%), followed by nausea/vomiting (61/95, 64.2%). Mortality was reported in 10.5% of cases. The initial presentation was acute pancreatitis, COVID-19, and concomitant in 32.6% (31/95), 48.4% (46/95), and 18.9% (18/95) of cases, respectively. Among the included cases, acute pancreatitis severity was associated with ICU admission, COVID-19 severity, and the outcome. Also, the initial presentation was associated with COVID-19 severity (P values ˂0.05).
CONCLUSIONS. Current evidence indicates that acute pancreatitis can present before, after, or concomitant with COVID-19. Appropriate investigations should be performed in cases with suspicious clinical presentations.
Longitudinal studies should address whether or not, there is a causative relationship between COVID-19 and acute pancreatitis.

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