Ryan Ungaro, MD: IBD Care During COVID-19

Many gastroenterologists have utilized telemedicine during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many researchers believed inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients would be more susceptible to severe COVID-19 outcomes, largely because of the immunosuppressants generally used to treat the disease.

However, as time went on, it was discovered that this patient population wasn’t more likely to suffer from an adverse event from the virus than the general population.

Ryan Ungaro, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said in an interview with HCPLive® that over the last 15 months there has been extensive research done on the outcomes of COVID-19 and IBD patients without showing any increase in adverse outcomes.

And while IBD patients weren’t more likely to be infected by the virus, the pandemic has caused some level of disruption to care.

However, Ungaro said gastroenterologists were able to utilize telemedicine and other techniques in order to maintain care over the course of the pandemic.

Ungaro recently took part in a HCPLive® State of the Science event called Institutional Perspectives in Gastroenterology: Inflammatory Bowel Disease, which was chaired by Bruce E. Sands, MD, Chief of the Dr. Henry D. Janowitz Division of Gastroenterology at Mount Sinai Hospital and the Dr. Burrill B. Crohn Professor of Medicine.