PLoS One. 2020 Dec 9;15(12):e0243528. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0243528. eCollection 2020.
Although the lungs are major targets for COVID-19 invasion, other organs-such as the kidneys-are also affected. However, the renal complications of COVID-19 are not yet well explored. This study aimed to identify the incidence of acute kidney injury (AKI) in patients with COVID-19 and to evaluate its impact on patient outcomes. This retrospective study included 704 patients with COVID-19 who were hospitalized at two hospitals in Daegu, Korea from February 19 to March 31, 2020. AKI was defined according to the serum creatinine criteria in the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) guidelines. The final date of follow-up was May 1, 2020. Of the 704 patients, 28 (4.0%) developed AKI. Of the 28 patients with AKI, 15 (53.6%) were found to have AKI stage 1, 3 (10.7%) had AKI stage 2, and 10 (35.7%) had AKI stage 3. Among these patients, 12 (42.9%) recovered from AKI. In the patients with AKI, the rates of admission to intensive care unit (ICU), administration of mechanical ventilator (MV), and in-hospital mortality were significantly higher than in patients without AKI. Multivariable analysis revealed that old age (Hazard ratio [HR] = 4.668, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.250-17.430, p = 0.022), high neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (HR = 1.167, 95% CI = 1.078-1.264, p < 0.001), elevated creatinine kinase (HR = 1.002, 95% CI = 1.001-1.004, p = 0.007), and severe AKI (HR = 12.199, 95% CI = 4.235-35.141, p < 0.001) were independent risk factors for in-hospital mortality. The Kaplan-Meier curves showed that the cumulative survival rate was lowest in the AKI stage 3 group (p < 0.001). In conclusion, the incidence of AKI in patients with COVID-19 was 4.0%. Severe AKI was associated with in-hospital death.