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Half of patients in hospital for COVID-19 get acute kidney injury


Second report links ventilation, vasopressors with worse AKI

A separate report from clinicians at Charité Hospital, Berlin, retrospectively analyzed 223 patients admitted with symptomatic COVID-19 to three Charité sites during March–June 2020. During hospitalization, 117 patients (52%) developed AKI, including 70 (31%) with stage 3 disease; 67 (30%) required renal replacement therapy. Half the patients with stage 3 AKI required ICU admission.

Compared with patients with less severe AKI, patients who developed stage 3 AKI were more often male, older, and had a higher body mass index.

In a multivariate model, compared with patients who developed less severe AKI, those who developed stage 3 disease also were significantly more likely to have received mechanical ventilation or vasopressor drugs and were more likely to have increased levels of leukocytes or procalcitonin, two inflammatory markers, Jan-Hendrink B. Hardenburg, MD, a Charité nephrologist, and associates reported in a poster at the meeting.

Mechanical ventilation was linked with a sixfold higher rate of stage 3 AKI, and treatment with vasopressor drugs was linked with a threefold higher rate. Elevations in procalcitonin or leukocyte levels were linked with about 60% increases in rates of stage 3 AKI. For both of these risk factors, temporal relationships were tighter; increases in both values appeared just before onset of stage 3 disease.

Dr. Joyner has been a speaker on behalf of NXStage Medical; a consultant to Astute Medical, Baxter, Mallinckrodt, Pfizer, and Sphingotec; and he has received research funding from Astute, Bioporto, NxStage, and Satellite Healthcare. Mr. Jewell and Dr. Hardenburg disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

A version of this article first appeared on


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