Novel evidence of acute kidney injury in COVID-19

Ti I. Chueh, Cai Mei Zheng, Yi Chou Hou, Kuo Cheng Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused a huge impact on health and economic issues. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes cellular damage by entry mediated by the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 of the host cells and its conjugation with spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2. Beyond airway infection and acute respiratory distress syndrome, acute kidney injury is common in SARS-CoV-2-associated infection, and acute kidney injury (AKI) is predictive to multiorgan dysfunction in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Beyond the cytokine storm and hemodynamic instability, SARS-CoV-2 might directly induce kidney injury and cause histopathologic characteristics, including acute tubular necrosis, podocytopathy and microangiopathy. The expression of apparatus mediating SARS-CoV-2 entry, including angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) and a disintegrin and metalloprotease 17 (ADAM17), within the renal tubular cells is highly associated with acute kidney injury mediated by SARS-CoV-2. Both entry from the luminal and basolateral sides of the renal tubular cells are the possible routes for COVID-19, and the microthrombi associated with severe sepsis and the dysregulated renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system worsen further renal injury in SARS-CoV-2-associated AKI. In the podocytes of the glomerulus, injured podocyte expressed CD147, which mediated the entry of SARS-CoV-2 and worsen further foot process effacement, which would worsen proteinuria, and the chronic hazard induced by SARS-CoV-2-mediated kidney injury is still unknown. Therefore, the aim of the review is to summarize current evidence on SARS-CoV-2-associated AKI and the possible pathogenesis directly by SARS-CoV-2.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3547
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • ACE2
  • Acute kidney injury
  • ADAM17
  • CD147
  • COVID-19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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