introduction / background

The novel pandemic COVID-19 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus is a highly infectious disease that originated in Wuhan, China, and has rapidly spread throughout the world (1). In early confirmed infected cases, the common clinical features reported included fever, cough, fatigue and/or dyspnea. In addition to respiratory complications, multi-organ dysfunction has been also implicated (although the pathophysiology remains obscure) (2). Gastrointestinal symptoms as diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, acute abdomen and loss of appetite, have been recently recognized (3). Although chest complications are the most common, GIT complications of uncertain origin have been observed in patients with COVID-19, with increased frequency in severe cases (4).


To report abdominal imaging findings in patients with COVID-19.

Materials & Methods

In this cross-sectional study, 79 infected patients were hospitalized into a single quarantine centre in Gharbia from March 12 to December 27, 2020. Abdominal imaging studies were performed in these patients. Medical records were reviewed for clinical data.


A total of 79 infected patients (average age, 59 years; range, 39 ≤ 76 years old; 48 males, 31 females) were included in the study. Abdominal imaging studies were performed (radiography, n = 46; US, n = 70; CT, n = 33; MRCP, n = 2). Bowel-wall abnormalities were seen on 39.3% of CT images (13 of 33). Bowel findings included bowel inflammation, pneumatosis intestinalis, bowel perforation, mesenteric vascular occlusion. Ultrasound examinations were mostly performed because of abnormal liver functions or elevated pancreatic enzymes in laboratory investigations and revealed a dilated sludge-filled gallbladder, suggestive of bile stasis with/out enlarged pancreatic size with inflammatory changes and fluid collections.


Bowel abnormalities including bowel ischemia, pancreatitis and gallbladder bile stasis were common GIT findings on GIT imaging of infected patients with COVID-19.


1. Huang C, Wang Y, Li X, et al. Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Lancet 2020;395(10223):497–506. [Published correction appears in Lancet 2020;395(10223):496.]. 2. Guan WJ, Ni ZY, Hu Y, et al. Clinical characteristics of coronavirus disease 2019 in China. N Engl J Med 2020;382(18):1708–1720. 3. Luo S, Zhang X, Xu H. Don’t overlook digestive symptoms in patients with 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2020;18(7):1636–1637. 4. Cholankeril G, Podboy A, Aivaliotis VI, et al. High prevalence of concurrent gastrointestinal manifestations in patients with SARS-CoV-2: early experience from California.Gastroenterology doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2020.04.008. Published online April10, 2020. Accessed April 17, 2020

acknowledgement / Contact

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