Researchers at Chinese University said on Wednesday that they have found that the new coronavirus had caused liver injuries in one-fifth of Covid-19 patients they studied.
The research team studied the condition of more than 1,000 coronavirus patients in Hong Kong, and found that those who suffered liver damage were much more likely to require intensive care.
The leader of the study, Professor Grace Wong, said that for some Covid-19 patients with severe infections, it can lead to inflammation in the body which can result in reactive hepatitis.
For patients with pneumonia, this can lead to ischemic hepatitis – which means inside the liver there’s insufficient blood flow and therefore not enough oxygen.
Wong said the damage could also be caused by drugs taken by patients, including antibiotics, antivirals and steroids.
She said although the liver damage was reversible in most Covid-19 patients, doctors should monitor their liver functions while treating the disease because there is a high chance they might deteriorate.
"Luckily, from what we [found], there was no genuine liver failure ... from Covid-19," Wong said.