COVID-19-induced liver injury in infants, children, and adolescents

Rana Bitar, David Rawat, Amer Azaz, Mohamad Miqdady, Ahmed A. Elghoudi, Hassib Narchi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) typically presents with fever and respiratory symptoms in children. Most children develop an asymptomatic and mild illness, with a minority requiring specialist medical care. Gastrointestinal manifestations and liver injury can also occur in children following infection. The mechanisms of liver injury may include infection following direct viral hepatic tissue invasion, immune response, or medication effects. Affected children might develop mild liver dysfunction which has a benign course in most children with no pre-existing liver disease. However, the presence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or other pre-existing chronic liver disorders is associated with a higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 illness with poor outcomes. On the other hand, the presence of liver manifestations is associated with the severity of COVID-19 disease and is considered an independent prognostic factor. Respiratory, hemodynamic, and nutritional supportive therapies are the mainstay of management. Vaccination of children at increased risk of developing severe COVID-19 disease is indicated. This review describes the liver manifestations in children with COVID-19, detailing its epidemiology, basic mechanisms, clinical expression, management, and prognosis in those with and without pre-existing liver disease and also children who have had earlier liver transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-67
Number of pages11
JournalWorld Journal of Clinical Pediatrics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 9 2023


  • COVID-19
  • Child
  • Gastroenterology
  • Hepatic dysfunction
  • Infection
  • Liver diseases
  • Liver injury
  • Liver transplant
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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