COVID-19 in patients with and without acute kidney injury

Bratisl Lek Listy. 2022;123(5):382-380. doi: 10.4149/BLL_2022_059.


Background and objective: SARS-CoV-2 as the newest member of Beta-Coronaviruses can cause a complicated disease called COVID-19. This virus is able to penetrate a broad range of human cells, such as liver, heart, and kidney cells via ACE2-associated endocytosis. Heart involvement can result in kidney injuries; it is now testified that kidney congestion occurs following the cardio-renal syndrome. Acute Kidney Injury is one of the most critical damages to the kidney in a wide range of COVID-19-caused kidney injuries (which includes proteinuria, hematuria, etc.). Examination of AKI risk factors in COVID-19 patients can assist physicians to prevent its incidence. The final aim of this systematic review was to collate the condition and risk factors of AKI and non-AKI COVID-19 patients and to investigate AKI incidence in high-risk patients.

Method: A complete and comprehensive survey was performed by reviewing original articles and case reports indexed in various databases such as PubMed/Medline, Embase, and WoS to find appropriate articles. The eligible articles then were selected by two authors and entered into the evaluation process. This systematic review conforms PRISMA statement.

Results: After searching for potentially relevant articles, 14 out of the initial 463 articles from 6 countries were selected and evaluated. All of eligible articles have investigated the rate of AKI incidence and its physio-pathological consequences in COVID-19 patients in all conditions (not only patients in critical condition). First, the initial differences between AKI and non-AKI patients were compared. As an instance, our study revealed that mean of White Blood cells (WBC) was much higher in AKI patients which can be responsible for the severe conditions. Then, other variations like differences in laboratory and imaging findings were compared between these two groups. Our outcomes demonstrated that the presence of diabetes mellitus (DM), hypertension (HTN), and male sex can be three significant risk factors in AKI incidence in COVID-19 patients. Fatality rate and treatment methods were also compared among these two groups.

Conclusion: As one of kidney damages, AKI can worsen COVID-19 patients' status by causing conditions such as acidosis. Our study shows the common symptoms in AKI COVID-19 patients were fever, cough, and malaise. The results of our study can help physicians to arrange COVID-19 with AKI patients' treatment strategy precisely (Tab. 8, Fig. 1, Ref. 48).

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; acute kidney injury; cardio-renal syndrome kidney involvement..

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury* / diagnosis
  • Acute Kidney Injury* / epidemiology
  • Acute Kidney Injury* / etiology
  • COVID-19* / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Proteinuria
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2