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.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.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.
Sara El Ouali, David T Rubin, Benjamin L Cohen, Miguel D Regueiro, Florian Rieder