Pathogens. 2022 Oct 31;11(11):1272. doi: 10.3390/pathogens11111272.
BACKGROUND: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common complication among SARS-CoV-2-positive patients who undergo hospitalization. Abundant evidence exists concerning the epidemiology of AKI in patients hospitalized in the ICU for COVID-19 but limited data are available about the occurrence of AKI in SARS-CoV-2-positive patients being hospitalized in a non-ICU setting.
AIM AND METHODS: We have carried out a retrospective study to evaluate frequency and risk factors for AKI among patients consecutively admitted at a third-level university hospital starting from February 2020 (the beginning of the first wave of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic); all patients were hospitalized outside the ICU.
RESULTS: A total of 387 SARS-CoV-2-positive patients were included in the current study; 372 (96.1%) had SARS-CoV-2-related pneumonia. In-hospital AKI onset was recorded in 119 (30.7%) patients, mainly with AKI stage 1 (n = 74, 62.2%); eighteen (4.6%) patients reported AKI stage 3 and six (1.5%) patients had HD-dependent AKI. There were 235 (60.7%) patients with severe COVID-19, and this was more common in patients developing AKI, 94.5% (86/119) vs. 86.1% (149/268), p = 0.02. Multivariate regression model (n = 144 patients) reported an independent and significant relationship between AKI occurrence and greater levels of ferritin (p = 0.036), IL-6 (p = 0.032), and azotemia at admission (p = 0.0001). A total of 69 (17.8%) SARS-CoV-2-positive patients died and strong predictors of in-hospital death resulted from age (p < 0.0001), serum ferritin (p < 0.0001) and white blood cells (p < 0.001). According to multivariable analysis (n = 163 patients), there was a consistent link between in-hospital death and AKI stage (1) (p = 0.021) and -stage (2) (p = 0.009). Our results support the notion that AKI occurs frequently among hospitalized COVID-19 patients even in a non-ICU setting and plays a pivotal role in the mortality of this population. Further studies are ongoing in order to clearly establish the frequency of AKI in patients with COVID-19; the mechanisms underlying kidney injury in this population are an area of active investigation. These data provide solid evidence to support close monitoring of COVID-19 patients for the development of AKI and measures taken to prevent this.