Objective: Hyperamylasemia was found in a group of patients with COVID-19 during hospitalization. However, the evolution and the clinical significance of hyperamylasemia in COVID-19, is not well characterized.

Design: In this retrospective cohort study, the epidemiological, demographic, laboratory, treatment and outcome information of 1,515 COVID-19 patients with available longitudinal amylase records collected from electronic medical system were analyzed to assess the prevalence and clinical significance of hyperamylasemia in this infection. Associated variables with hyperamylasemia in COVID-19 were also analyzed.

Results: Of 1,515 patients, 196 (12.9%) developed hyperamylasemia, among whom 19 (1.3%) greater than 3 times upper limit of normal (ULN) and no clinical acute pancreatitis was seen. Multivariable ordered logistic regression implied older age, male, chronic kidney disease, several medications (immunoglobin, systemic corticosteroids, and antifungals), increased creatinine might be associated with hyperamylasemia during hospitalization. Restricted cubic spline analysis indicated hyperamylasemia had a J-shaped association with all-cause mortality and the estimated hazard ratio per standard deviation was 2.85 (2.03-4.00) above ULN. Based on the multivariable mixed-effect cox or logistic regression model taking hospital sites as random effects, elevated serum amylase during hospitalization was identified as an independent risk factor associated with in-hospital death and intensive complications, including sepsis, cardiac injury, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and acute kidney injury.

Conclusions: Elevated serum amylase was independently associated with adverse clinical outcomes in COVID-19 patients. Since early intervention might change the outcome, serum amylase should be monitored dynamically during hospitalization.