Does Hyperlipasemia Predict Worse Clinical Outcomes in COVID-19? A Multicenter Retrospective Cohort Study

Ritu R. Singh, Puneet Chhabra, Nikhil A. Kumta

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8 Scopus citations


Goal: We aim to perform a multicenter retrospective cohort study to determine if elevated serum lipase determines clinical outcomes in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Background: Several cases of acute pancreatitis (AP) have recently been reported in association with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Most of the evidence is based on elevated serum lipase values without objective demonstration of pancreatic inflammation or necrosis. Materials and Methods: A population-based, multicenter, retrospective cohort study utilizing TriNetX was performed to obtain aggregated health records of ∼69 million patients from 49 health care organizations from January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020. Adult patients (18 y and above) diagnosed with COVID-19 were identified using appropriate International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10) codes and were stratified into 2 groups, with elevated (≥180 U/L) and with normal (≤80 U/L) serum lipase. The primary outcome was 30-day mortality; other outcomes were 30-day rehospitalization, need for mechanical ventilation, need for vasopressor use, acute kidney injury. Results: A total of 435,731 adult patients with COVID-19 were identified, and 1406 of them had elevated serum lipase which was associated with higher 30-day mortality [risk ratio (RR)=1.53, P<0.001], risk of acute kidney injury (RR=1.5, P=0.003), and vasopressor use (RR=1.69, P<0.001) without any difference in 30-day rehospitalization (RR=0.98, P=0.54), or need for mechanical ventilation (RR=1.20, P=0.26). The negative predictive value of normal serum lipase for 3-month mortality in patients with COVID-19 was 91%. Conclusions: Patients with COVID-19 who have elevated serum lipase experience worse clinical outcomes even in the absence of AP. If these findings can be replicated in prospective studies, serum lipase can be utilized as a marker of disease severity in patients with COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E227-E231
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • acute pancreatitis
  • lipase


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