Published online Dec 27, 2021. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v13.i12.1909
Peer-review started: February 25, 2021
First decision: May 3, 2021
Revised: May 7, 2021
Accepted: November 24, 2021
Article in press: November 24, 2021
Published online: December 27, 2021
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) disease affects multiple organs, including anomalies in liver function. In this review we summarize the knowledge about liver injury found during severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection with special attention paid to possible mechanisms of liver damage and abnormalities in liver function tests allowing for the evaluation of the severity of liver disease. Abnormalities in liver function observed in COVID-19 disease are associated with the age and sex of patients, severity of liver injury, presence of comorbidity and pre-treatment. The method of antiviral treatment can also impact on liver function, which manifests as increasing values in liver function tests. Therefore, analysis of variations in liver function tests is necessary in evaluating the progression of liver injury to severe disease.
Core Tip: The frequency of abnormalities in liver function tests (LFTs) in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infected patients increases with age and is observed in males more than females. A pre-existing history of liver disease and comorbidity increases LFT abnormality and the likelihood of severe liver damage in COVID-19 infection. Antiviral treatment and treatment of comorbid diseases intensifies the hepatotoxic effect on the liver, which often manifests itself in higher levels in LFTs.