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Systematic Review on Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019

Systematic Review on Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019: It Is Time to Take Stock

Background & Aims

Data on the clinical characteristics of patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are scarce. The aim of our systematic review was to investigate symptoms and diagnostic–therapeutic management of IBD patients with COVID-19.


We searched PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and MedRxiv up to July 29, 2020, to identify all studies reporting clinical information on adult and pediatric IBD patients with confirmed COVID-19.


Twenty-three studies met our inclusion criteria, including 243,760 IBD patients. COVID-19 was diagnosed in 1028 patients (509 with Crohn’s disease [49.5%], 428 with ulcerative colitis [41.6%], 49 with indeterminate colitis [4.8%], and 42 with missing data [4.1%]), accounting for a cumulative prevalence of 0.4%. Viral infection occurred more frequently in males than in females (56.5% vs 39.7%), and the mean age ranged from 14 to 85 years. The most common symptoms were fever (48.3%), cough (46.5%), and diarrhea (20.5%), and a COVID-19 diagnosis was achieved mainly through polymerase chain reaction analysis of nasopharyngeal swabs (94.4%) and chest computed tomography scans (38.9%). Hydroxychloroquine (23.9%), lopinavir/ritonavir (8.2%), steroids (3.2%), and antibiotics (3.1%) were the most used drugs. Overall, approximately a third of patients were hospitalized (30.6%), and 11.4% of them required admission to the intensive care unit. In total, 29 COVID-19–related deaths were reported (3.8%), and increasing age and the presence of comorbidities were recognized as risk factors for COVID-19 and negative outcomes.


Diarrhea occurs more frequently in IBD patients with COVID-19 than in the non-IBD population. Further studies are needed to define the optimal diagnostic–therapeutic approach in IBD patients with COVID-19.


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