Researchers see no change in disease activity in patients with IBD, COVID-19
Researchers observed no significant changes in inflammatory bowel disease activity among patients who had COVID-19, according to a study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
“With the increased frequency of new GI symptoms associated with COVID-19 in patients with IBD, there was initial concern that infection may lead to durable negative effects on IBD activity,” Dana Lukin, MD, Jill Roberts Center for IBD, and colleagues wrote. “This concern was further compounded by the need to delay or discontinue immunosuppressive therapy in IBD patients with active COVID-19.”
To compare clinical, endoscopic and laboratory markers of disease activity in patients with IBD and COVID-19 infection, researchers analyzed 118 patients up to 6-months pre-infection, during COVID-19 infection and up to 6-months post-infection. According to assessment, active disease was present in 60% of patients prior to COVID-19 infection; researchers detected active disease in 55% of patients during infection and 59% of patients post-infection. A subset analysis comparing available fecal samples pre-infection (12 patients) revealed no significant difference in alpha diversity or beta diversity.
“Our data revealed no significant impact on disease activity and provided data supporting the current guidelines for continued IBD maintenance care during the pandemic. Although initial reports suggesting distinct changes in the microbiome of patients with severe COVID-19 raised the possibility that patients with IBD may be at higher risk for microbiome alterations, we did not detect significant microbiome changes in participants before and after COVID-19,” Randy Longman, MD, PhD, Jill Roberts Center for IBD, told Healio. “Given the limited number of [participants] in this study with severe COVID-19, it will be important to follow additional cases of severe COVID-19 in patients with IBD and to assess the impact of long-haul symptoms in additional cohorts.”