Kidney Complications in COVID-19

Angie SzumlinskiHealth

COVID-19 has been shown to have devastating respiratory consequences; however, the next emerging healthcare concern during this pandemic is acute kidney injury (AKI). The prevalence of kidney failure is so high that hospitals are running out of dialysis machines while at the same time struggling to maintain access for non-infected patients.

There is considerable debate as to how the novel coronavirus is damaging organs and cells but emerging evidence suggests damage occurs in the kidneys, particularly the podocytes and proximal tubules. Also prominent in COVID-19 patients are elevated levels of ferritin. Iron-mediated cell death may contribute to the enormous inflammation seen in these patients and could play a role in why they do worse.

Although COVID-19 articles have been coming at a dizzying pace in recent weeks, better data is needed including biopsy and autopsy information as well as data on race, biomarkers, and long-term outcomes.

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