Purpose of review
The ubiquitous expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 receptors and its significance as the origin of viral entry have assisted in comprehending the pathophysiology of extrapulmonary manifestations of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. In this review, we focus on the clinical significance of gastrointestinal manifestations.
The global pandemic, a result of the widespread implications of SARS-CoV-2, remains a significant burden to current healthcare systems. Fever, dyspnea, and tussive symptoms have primarily been recognized as the most common presenting signs/symptoms. During the past one year our scope of practice has transcended beyond the management of the respiratory system to incorporate other varying systemic manifestations such as anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. The outcomes reported by recent studies suggest an association between the presence of gastrointestinal symptoms and important clinical factors such as delay in presentation, disease severity, and mortality.
We provide a summarization of the most recent in-depth investigations of coronavirus disease 2019 with gastrointestinal manifestations and their conclusions. Although the pathophysiology remains an area of evolving interest, a better understanding of this disease process may allow for early recognition, efficient triage, and improved prognostication for those presenting with gastrointestinal manifestations of SARS-CoV-2.