Background: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is the second most frequent condition after acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in critically ill patients with severe COVID-19 and is strongly associated with mortality. The aim of this multicentric study was to assess the impact of the specific treatments of COVID-19 and ARDS on the risk of severe AKI in critically ill COVID-19 patients.
Methods: In this cohort study, data from consecutive patients older than 18 years admitted to 6 ICUs for COVID-19-related ARDS requiring invasive mechanical ventilation were included. The incidence and severity of AKI, defined according to the 2012 KDIGO definition, were monitored during the entire ICU stay until day 90. Patients older than 18 years admitted to the ICU for COVID-19-related ARDS requiring invasive mechanical ventilation were included.
Results: 164 patients were included in the final analysis; 97 (59.1%) displayed AKI, of which 39 (23.8%) had severe stage 3 AKI, and 21 (12.8%) required renal replacement therapy (RRT). In univariate analysis, severe AKI was associated with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) exposure (p = 0.016), arterial hypertension (p = 0.029), APACHE-II score (p = 0.004) and mortality at D28 (p = 0.008), D60 (p < 0.001) and D90 (p < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, the factors associated with the onset of stage 3 AKI were: exposure to ACEI (OR: 4.238 (1.307-13.736), p = 0.016), APACHE II score (without age) (OR: 1.138 (1.044-1.241), p = 0.003) and iNO (OR: 5.694 (1.953-16.606), p = 0.001). Prone positioning (OR: 0.234 (0.057-0.967), p = 0.045) and dexamethasone (OR: 0.194 (0.053-0.713), p = 0.014) were associated with a decreased risk of severe AKI.
Conclusions: Dexamethasone was associated with the prevention of the risk of severe AKI and RRT, and iNO was associated with severe AKI and RRT in critically ill patients with COVID-19. iNO should be used with caution in COVID-19-related ARDS.
Keywords: ARDS; COVID-19; acute kidney injury; dexamethasone; inhaled nitric oxide; intensive care.