Covid-19 Presented Only with Gastrointestinal Symptoms: A Case Report of a 14-Year-Old Patient

Ladan Goshayeshi, Nasrin Milani, Robert Bergquist, Sayyed Majid Sadrzadeh, Farnood Rajabzadeh, Benyamin Hoseini


Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is expanding worldwide. Although it seems to be a purely respiratory disease, occasional reports of lesions in other organs have been published. We report here an asymptomatic child with Covid-19 and with the main symptom of abdominal pain distension and without any respiratory symptoms.

A 14-year-old male patient with main complaints of fever, malaise, anorexia, and severe abdominal pain was admitted to a hospital in Mashhad, Iran. Laparotomy revealed distension of the small intestine and an adhesive ileocaecal band that had produced ileum herniation without free fluid in the abdomen. Chest radiography and high-resolution computed tomography of the lungs showed bilateral and diffuse, peripheral dense areas of ground-glass appearance. A nasopharyngeal swab for diagnosis of Covid-19, was ordered due to lymphopenia together with these diffuse lung infiltrations, which showed a positive result. This led to drug treatment with lopinavir/ritonavir, hydroxychloroquine, ribavirin/oseltamivir, and meropenem. The patient was febrile and developed tachycardia on the third day, accompanied by a respiratory rate of 44/min. At this point, tracheal intubation was done, but the patient died after 3 hours due to cardiac arrest. The case report brings forth the hypothesis that the gastrointestinal manifestation may be an atypical symptom of Covid-19 infection and highlights the importance of the diagnosis based on combined laboratory-based data and scanning imagery.


COVID-19; Gastrointestinal symptoms; Case report; Abdominal pain; Acute respiratory disease

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