Coronavirus Disease 19 Infection Does Not Result in Acute Kidney Injury: An Analysis of 116 Hospitalized Patients from Wuhan, China

Am J Nephrol. 2020;51(5):343-348. doi: 10.1159/000507471. Epub 2020 Mar 31.


Background: Whether the patients with coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) infected by severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV-2 would commonly develop acute kidney injury (AKI) is an important issue worthy of clinical attention. This study aimed to explore the effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on renal function through analyzing the clinical data of 116 hospitalized COVID-19-confirmed patients.

Methods: One hundred sixteen COVID-19-confirmed patients enrolled in this study were hospitalized in the Department of Infectious Diseases, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University from January 14 to February 13, 2020. The recorded information includes demographic data, medical history, contact history, potential comorbidities, symptoms, signs, laboratory test results, chest computer tomography scans, and treatment measures. SARS-CoV-2 RNA in 53 urine sediments of enrolled patients was detected by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction.

Results: Twelve (10.8%) patients showed mild increase of blood urea nitrogen or creatinine (<26 μmol/L within 48 h), and 8 (7.2%) patients showed trace or 1+ albuminuria in 111 COVID-19-confirmed patients without chronic kidney disease (CKD). All these patients did not meet the diagnostic criteria of AKI. In addition, 5 patients with CKD who were undergone regular continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) before admission were confirmed infection of SARS-CoV-2 and diagnosed as COVID-19. In addition to therapy for COVID-19, CRRT was also applied 3 times weekly during hospitalization for these 5 patients with CKD. In the course of treatment, the renal function indicators showed stable state in all 5 patients with CKD, without exacerbation of CKD, and pulmonary inflammation was gradually absorbed. All 5 patients with CKD were survived. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2 RNA in urine sediments was positive only in 3 patients from 48 cases without CKD, and 1 patient had a positive for SARS-CoV-2 open reading frame 1ab from 5 cases with CKD.

Conclusion: AKI was uncommon in COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 infection does not result in AKI, or aggravate CKD in the COVID-19 patients.

Keywords: Acute kidney injury; Chronic kidney disease; Continuous renal replacement therapy; Coronavirus disease 19; Severe acute respiratory syndrome-CoV-2.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • China / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections* / mortality
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases*
  • Kidney Function Tests
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics*
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / mortality
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Young Adult