COVID-19 and the Kidney: A Worrisome Scenario of Acute and Chronic Consequences

J Clin Med. 2021 Feb 25;10(5):900. doi: 10.3390/jcm10050900.


Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common finding in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and has been associated with higher rates of death when compared to COVID-19 patients without kidney injury. Whereas the definitive pathogenesis of COVID-19-related AKI (CoV-AKI) is not clear, histopathologic evidence seems to point at multiple etiologies for the disease, including indirect and direct viral kidney injury. The high incidence of CoV-AKI, along with the aggressive clinical presentation of this entity, have increased the demands for kidney replacement therapies, rapidly overwhelming the supplies of healthcare systems even in major tertiary care centers. As a result, nephrologists have come up with alternatives to maximize the efficiency of treatments and have developed non-conventional therapeutic alternatives such as the implementation of acute peritoneal dialysis for critically ill patients. The long-term implications of CoV-AKI are yet unknown, though early studies suggest that around one third of the patients who survive will remain dependent on kidney replacement therapy. Nephrologists and healthcare workers need to be familiar with the clinical presentation and therapeutic challenges of CoV-AKI in order to develop strategies to mitigate the burden of the disease for patients, and for services providing kidney replacement therapies.

Keywords: AKI; ATI; CG; CKD; COVID-19; CoV-AKI; ESKD.

Publication types

  • Review