Patients hospitalized with Covid-19, especially in an intensive care unit, may suffer higher rates of acute kidney injury than previously thought, according to new research.
More than a third of patients treated at New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center during the height of the outbreak there developed acute kidney injury, the researchers reported. And 78% of those admitted to an intensive care unit had kidney injury, Ruijun Chen of Columbia University and colleagues reported in the BMJ.
They said nearly 14% of those admitted to hospital and 35.2% of those in intensive care needed inpatient dialysis treatment. That is a higher percentage than seen in similar studies in China and Seattle, the researchers said.
Chen’s team looked at the first 1,000 Covid-19 patients who either went to the emergency department or were admitted to the hospital between March 1 and April 5.
Patients with kidney damage can need intensive dialysis and may develop blood clotting. There could be a variety of reasons for the injuries, Chen’s team said. Sometimes doctors limit delivery of fluids when treating these patients, and that could damage the kidneys, they said. The virus could directly attack the kidneys, also. Plus many of the patients with severe coronavirus infections had other health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes or pre-existing kidney disease.