PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review aims to summarize the current evidence regarding the risks and implications of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and discuss optimal management of IBD during this pandemic .
RECENT FINDINGS: Patients with IBD are not at increased risk of COVID-19 but several risk factors for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2 infection) have been identified, such as active IBD, obesity, and corticosteroid use . COVID-19 outcomes are similar among patients with IBD and the overall population . Although biologics have not been shown to increase the risk of severe COVID-19 complications, several risk factors have been associated with negative COVID-19 outcomes in patients with IBD, including older age, obesity, the presence of comorbidities, active disease, and corticosteroid use . IBD therapy should, therefore, be continued with the aim of attaining or maintaining remission, except for corticosteroids, which should be held or reduced to the minimal effective dose . Although it has been recommended that immunosuppressive therapy be held during a case of COVID-19, the half-lives of these drugs and data on the timing of restarting therapy limit the strength of these recommendations . We recommend COVID-19 vaccination for IBD patients whenever available, as benefits to the individual and to society outweigh the risks .
SUMMARY: As our understanding of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 continues to evolve, we are learning more about its impact in patients with IBD and how to better manage patients in this setting . Managing IBD during this pandemic has also highlighted the importance of restructuring services in order to adapt to current and potential future outbreaks . The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed IBD care through the expansion of telemedicine and development of novel approaches to remote monitoring.