eISSN: 1897-4317
ISSN: 1895-5770
Gastroenterology Review/Przegląd Gastroenterologiczny
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vol. 18
Original paper

Inflammatory bowel diseases and the clinical course of coronavirus disease 2019 – a Polish single-centre experience from the pre-vaccine era

Estera Banasik
Agnieszka Dobrowolska
Barbara Kołodziejczak
Piotr Eder

Department of Gastroenterology, Dietetics, and Internal Medicine, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, University Clinical Hospital, Poznan, Poland
Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland
Gastroenterology Rev 2023; 18 (4): 409–415
Online publish date: 2023/12/08
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The data on the relationship between inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and the course of COVID-19 from East-Central Europe are scarce.

To assess the frequency of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in IBD patients and the impact of IBD on the COVID-19 course from the perspective of a Polish tertiary centre.

Material and methods
Data on SARS-CoV-2 infection were retrospectively collected among IBD patients hospitalized in a Polish tertiary centre from March 2020 to May 2021. A questionnaire was used assessing the IBD characteristics, other comorbidities, and the course of COVID-19.

Among 350 patients, SARS-CoV-2 infection was diagnosed in 32 (9%). Severe COVID-19, defined as the need for hospitalization, was reported in 6 (19%) and mild in 26 (81%) cases. Compared to the mild COVID-19 course, patients with a severe course more often showed a higher IBD activity (3 points [IQR 2.25–3] vs. 1 point [IQR 0–2] in a semi-quantitative scale, p = 0.002), more often received steroids (67% vs. 11%, p = 0.02), and were not treated with biologics (0% vs. 46%, p = 0.07). There was a correlation between the duration of symptomatic infection and the number of comorbidities (r = 0.4, p = 0.04). No death or short-term COVID-19 complications were reported. In 25% of cases, SARS-CoV-2 infection caused new gastrointestinal symptoms.

IBD is not a risk factor for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Steroids and higher IBD clinical activity may increase the risk of severe COVID-19. The prognosis for COVID-19 in our cohort was good. SARS-CoV-2 infection was a common cause of gastrointestinal symptoms.


COVID-19, gastrointestinal symptoms, infections, inflammatory bowel diseases, risk factors

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