Introduction The influence of a SARS-CoV-2 infection on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has not yet been well characterized and it is unclear whether this requires an adaptation of the immunosuppressive therapy.
Methods A national register was established for the retrospective documentation of clinical parameters and changes in immunosuppressive therapy in SARS-CoV-2 infected IBD patients.
Results In total, only 3 of 185 IBD patients (1.6 %) were tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection because of abdominal symptoms. In the course of COVID-19 disease, 43.5 % developed diarrhea, abdominal pain or hematochezia (risk of hospitalization with vs. without abdominal symptoms: 20.0 % vs. 10.6 %, p < 0.01). With active IBD at the time of SARS-CoV-2 detection, there was an increased risk of hospitalization (remission 11.2 %, active IBD 23.3 % p < 0.05). IBD-specific therapy remained unchanged in 115 patients (71.4 %); the most common change was an interruption of systemic therapy (16.2 %).
Discussion New abdominal symptoms often appeared in SARS-CoV-2 infected IBD patients. However, these only rarely led to SARS-CoV-2 testing. A high IBD activity at the time of SARS-CoV-2 detection was associated with an increased risk of hospitalization.