Multi-Organ Involvement in COVID-19: Beyond Pulmonary Manifestations

J Clin Med. 2021 Jan 24;10(3):446. doi: 10.3390/jcm10030446.


Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19), due to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has become an on-going global health emergency affecting over 94 million cases with more than 2 million deaths globally. Primarily identified as atypical pneumonia, it has developed into severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a multi-organ dysfunction with associated fatality. Ever since its emergence, COVID-19 with its plethora of clinical presentations has signalled its dynamic nature and versatility of the disease process. Being a disease with droplet transmission has now assumed the proportion of a suspected airborne nature which, once proved, poses a Herculean task to control. Because of the wide distribution of the human angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (hACE2) receptors, known for its transmission, we envisage its multiorgan spread and extensive disease distribution. Thus, an extensive review of the extrapulmonary organotropism of SARS-CoV-2 with organ-specific pathophysiology and associated manifestations like dermatological complications, myocardial dysfunction, gastrointestinal symptoms, neurologic illnesses, hepatic and renal injury is needed urgently. The plausible mechanism of site-specific viral invasion is also discussed to give a comprehensive understanding of disease complexity, to help us to focus on research priorities and therapeutic strategies to counter the disease progression. A note on the latest advancements in vaccine research will enlighten the scientific world and equip it for better preparedness.

Keywords: ACE-2; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; dermatological; hepatic; neurological; pathogenesis; therapeutics; vaccines.

Publication types

  • Review