OBJECTIVE:To describe the clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who developed pneumatosis intestinalis (PI). METHODS:This case series was conducted in intensive care units at two large tertiary care centers within the Northwell Health System, located in New York State. Patients were included if they were identified as having confirmed COVID-19 as well as pneumatosis intestinalis from March 16, 2020 to July 31, 2020. Patient demographics, clinical characteristics, vasopressor use, anticoagulation use, opiate use, paralytic use, COVID-19 treatment regimen, serum lactate, arterial pH, serum bicarbonate, subsequent intervention, and outcomes during hospitalization were collected. Results: A total of nine patients were identified. Average serum lactate was 4.33 mmol/L at time of diagnosis. Portal venous gas (56%) and bowel dilation (56%) were common radiographic findings. Subsequent morbidity (increased vasopressor requirements - 67%, acute kidney injury - 67%, increased oxygen requirements - 44%) and mortality (78%) were high. PI occurred despite a majority of patients being on anticoagulation (78%). Interleukin-6 (IL-6) inhibitors were commonly administered (56%) prior to development of PI. CONCLUSION:Pneumatosis intestinalis in COVID-19 is clinically significant, with high morbidity and mortality, and is also likely underdiagnosed.
Faculty; Northwell Researcher; Northwell Resident
School of Medicine; Northwell Health
Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine