Severe acute kidney injury in critically ill COVID-19 patients

the Hospital Clínic Critical Care COVID-19 working group (CCCC)

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is frequent in Coronavirus Infection Disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. Factors associated with AKI in COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) patients and their outcomes have not been previously explored. Methods: Prospective observational study of COVID-19 patients admitted to the ICUs of the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona (Spain), from March 25th to April 21st, 2020, who developed AKI stage 2 or higher (AKIN classification). The primary goal was to describe the characteristics of moderate-severe AKI of COVID-19 patients in an ICU context. As a secondary goal, we aimed to find independent predictors of AKI progression, Renal Replacement Therapy (RRT) requirement and mortality among these patients. Results: During the study period, 52 out of 237 ICU patients, developed AKIN stage 2 or higher and were included in the study. A Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score at AKI diagnosis of 8 or higher was associated with RRT, OR 5.2, p 0.032. At the time of AKI diagnosis, patients had a worse liver profile and higher inflammation markers than at admission. Fifty per cent of the patients presented AKI progression from AKIN 2 to 3 and 28.85% required RRT. The use of corticosteroids in 69.2% of patients was associated with a reduced requirement of RRT, OR 0.13 (CI 95% 0.02–0.89), p 0.037. AKI was associated with high mortality (50%) and a longer hospital stay, median 35 vs 18 days (p 0.024). Conclusions: The prevalence of moderate/severe AKI in COVID-19 patients admitted to the ICU is high and has a strong correlation with mortality and length of hospital stay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-293
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nephrology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • Acute kidney injury
  • COVID-19
  • Intensive care
  • Renal replacement therapy


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