Colon to Rectum

Gut. 2023;72(3):484–92

Marasco G, Cremon C, Barbaro MR, Cacciari G, Falangone F, Kagramanova A, Bordin D, Drug V, Miftode E, Fusaroli P, Mohamed SY, Ricci C, Bellini M, Rahman MM, Melcarne L, Santos J, Lobo B, Bor S, Yapali S, Akyol D, Sapmaz FP, Urun YY, Eskazan T, Celebi A, Kacmaz H, Ebik B, Binicier HC, Bugdayci MS, Yağcı MB, Pullukcu H, Kaya BY, Tureyen A, Hatemi İ, Koc ES, Sirin G, Calıskan AR, Bengi G, Alıs EE, Lukic S, Trajkovska M, Hod K, Dumitrascu D, Pietrangelo A, Corradini E, Simren M, Sjölund J, Tornkvist N, Ghoshal UC, Kolokolnikova O, Colecchia A, Serra J, Maconi G, De Giorgio R, Danese S, Portincasa P, Di Sabatino A, Maggio M, Philippou E, Lee YY, Salvi D, Venturi A, Borghi C, Zoli M, Gionchetti P, Viale P, Stanghellini V, Barbara G; GI-COVID19 study group

Post-COVID-19 irritable bowel syndrome

Objectives: The long-term consequences of COVID-19 infection on the gastrointestinal tract remain unclear. Here, the authors aimed to evaluate the prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms and post-COVID-19 disorders of gut-brain interaction after hospitalization for SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Design: GI-COVID-19 is a prospective, multicenter, controlled study. Patients with and without COVID-19 diagnosis were evaluated on hospital admission and after 1, 6 and 12 months post hospitalization. Gastrointestinal symptoms, anxiety and depression were assessed using validated questionnaires.
Results: The study included 2183 hospitalized patients. The primary analysis included a total of 883 patients (614 patients with COVID-19 and 269 controls) due to the exclusion of patients with pre-existing gastrointestinal symptoms and/or surgery. At enrolment, gastrointestinal symptoms were more frequent among patients with COVID-19 than in the control group (59.3% vs. 39.7%, p < 0.001). At the 12-month follow-up, constipation and hard stools were significantly more prevalent in controls than in patients with COVID-19 (16% vs. 9.6%, p = 0.019 and 17.7% vs. 10.9%, p = 0.011, respectively). Compared with controls, patients with COVID-19 reported higher rates of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) according to Rome IV criteria: 0.5% versus 3.2%, p = 0.045. Factors significantly associated with IBS diagnosis included history of allergies, chronic intake of proton-pump inhibitors and presence of dyspnea. At the 6-month follow-up, the rate of patients with COVID-19 fulfilling the criteria for depression was higher than among controls.

Conclusion: Compared with controls, hospitalized patients with COVID-19 had fewer problems of constipation and hard stools at 12 months after acute infection. Patients with COVID-19 had significantly higher rates of irritable bowel syndrome than controls.

Prof. Dr. G. Barbara, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Bologna IRCCS, Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy,

DOI: DOI: 10.1136/gutjnl-2022-328483

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