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COVID-19 and the kidney: time to take a closer look

Authors
  • Liakopoulos, Vassilios1
  • Roumeliotis, Stefanos1
  • Papachristou, Stella2
  • Papanas, Nikolaos2
  • 1 Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, 1st Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School, AHEPA Hospital, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, St. Kyriakidi 1, 54636 Thessaloniki, Greece
  • 2 Democritus University of Thrace,
Type
Published Article
Journal
International Urology and Nephrology
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Aug 12, 2021
Pages
1–5
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s11255-021-02976-7
PMID: 34383205
PMCID: PMC8358250
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Nephrology - Review
License
Unknown

Abstract

Although coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is primarily a respiratory disease, the kidney may be among the target organs of infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2). Independently of baseline kidney function, acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common complication of COVID-19, associated with increased mortality and morbidity. Most frequently, COVID-19 causes acute tubular necrosis; however, in some cases, collapsing focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and direct viral tropism of the kidneys have also been documented. AKI secondary to COVID-19 has a multi-factorial origin. Even mild impairment of renal function is an independent risk factor for COVID-19 infection, hospitalisation and mortality. Dialysis patients also carry an increased risk of other severe COVID-related complications, including arrhythmias, shock, acute respiratory distress syndrome and acute heart failure. In such patients, COVID-19 may even present with atypical clinical symptoms, including gastrointestinal disorders and deterioration of mental status. More research is needed on the exact effects of SARS-CoV-2 on the kidneys. Finally, it remains to be proven whether the outcome of patients with kidney disease may be improved with anticipated vaccination programmes.

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