The incidence of acute kidney injury (AKI) in patients with COVID-19 and its association with mortality and disease severity is understudied in the Canadian population.
To determine the incidence of AKI in a cohort of patients with COVID-19 admitted to medicine and intensive care unit (ICU) wards, its association with in-hospital mortality, and disease severity. Our aim was to stratify these outcomes by out-of-hospital AKI and in-hospital AKI.
Retrospective cohort study from a registry of patients with COVID-19.
Three community and 3 academic hospitals.
A total of 815 patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 between March 4, 2020, and April 23, 2021.
Stage of AKI, ICU admission, mechanical ventilation, and in-hospital mortality.
We classified AKI by comparing highest to lowest recorded serum creatinine in hospital and staged AKI based on the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) system. We calculated the unadjusted and adjusted odds ratio for the stage of AKI and the outcomes of ICU admission, mechanical ventilation, and in-hospital mortality.
Of the 815 patients registered, 439 (53.9%) developed AKI, 253 (57.6%) presented with AKI, and 186 (42.4%) developed AKI in-hospital. The odds of ICU admission, mechanical ventilation, and death increased as the AKI stage worsened. Stage 3 AKI that occurred during hospitalization increased the odds of death (odds ratio [OR] = 7.87 [4.35, 14.23]). Stage 3 AKI that occurred prior to hospitalization carried an increased odds of death (OR = 5.28 [2.60, 10.73]).
Observational study with small sample size limits precision of estimates. Lack of nonhospitalized patients with COVID-19 and hospitalized patients without COVID-19 as controls limits causal inferences.
Acute kidney injury, whether it occurs prior to or after hospitalization, is associated with a high risk of poor outcomes in patients with COVID-19. Routine assessment of kidney function in patients with COVID-19 may improve risk stratification.
The study was not registered on a publicly accessible registry because it did not involve any health care intervention on human participants.