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The impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been immense, and it continues to have lasting repercussions. While the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus primarily infects the respiratory system, other organ systems are affected, including the liver. Scientific knowledge on the role of SARS-CoV-2 infection and liver injury has evolved rapidly, with recent data suggesting specific hepatotropism of SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, additional concerns have been raised in regard to long-term liver damage, related to emerging cases of post-COVID-19 cholangiopathy and chronic cholestasis. Great effort has also been focused on studying how specific subpopulations with chronic medical conditions might be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. One such population includes individuals with chronic liver disease (CLD) and cirrhosis, with an expanding body of research indicating these patients being particularly susceptible to adverse outcomes. In this review, we provide an updated summary on the current pathogenesis and mechanism of liver injury in the setting of SARS-CoV-2 infection, the association between health outcomes and SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with CLD, and the unique consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the routine care of patients with CLD.

Original publication




Journal article


Gut and liver

Publication Date



Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.