Complications of Acute Kidney Injury in COVID-19 Patients: A Systematic Review

Anish Abraham1, Merin Dickson1, *, Anjana Abhilash1, Sumit K.U1, Amisha Kunjumon1
1 Medical Council of India, NCARF, Grace Towers, Kumarapuram P.O, Pallikara, Ernakulam 683565, India

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© 2023 Abraham et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Medical Council of India, NCARF, Grace Towers, Kumarapuram P.O, Pallikara, Ernakulam - 683565, India; Tel: 8086028870; E-mail:



Acute Kidney Injury has been associated with a higher mortality rate among hospitalized patients with Coronavirus disease.The present review aimed to evaluate the association of COVID-19 with acute kidney injury. The study also aimed to assess the symptoms, complications, and treatment performed for the successful management of acute kidney injury patients with COVID-19.


The literature review search was conducted by using PubMed, Medline, and another database of medical journals for identifying, reviewing, and evaluating the published articles with cases of COVID-19 and acute kidney injury complications.


The systematic review of 25 studies found that patients with COVID-19 had a high prevalence of acute kidney injury due to risk factors, such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and the overuse of diuretics. The average age of acute kidney injury occurrence in patients was from 54-70 years of age. From 25 studies, a total of 27922 patients, 29.9%, were detected with acute kidney injury with the pathological cause of acute tubular necrosis and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis.


The current systematic review indicates a high prevalence of acute kidney injury among COVID-19 patients with hospitalisation. Patients with COVID-19 pose a risk for the development of acute kidney injury due to chronic infection, high use of corticosteroids, and systemic hemodynamic instability, which results in acute tubular injury in hospitalised COVID-19 patients.

A majority of the patients were seen with undiagnosed acute kidney injury. Early detection in such comorbid cases can resolve renal complications and improve the therapeutic outcome in COVID-19 patients.

Keywords: Acute kidney injury, COVID-19, Systematic review, AKI, SARS-CoV-2, Chronic pulmonary disease.