Effects of the Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) on Kidney Functions

Document Type : Narrative Review


1 Department of Biology, School of Science, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran.

2 Department of Biology, School of Science, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran,


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a contagious and lethal infectious disease with a potential threat to global health
security. Kidney is a multi-organ that has been affected by COVID-19. Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) expression in the different cell populations of kidney including podocytes, proximal tubular cells and so on shows a possible association between renal parenchymal cells involvement and direct Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) invasion to kidney parenchyma at an early stage of disease. Considering the importance of the kidney, this review article highlights the recent findings about the influence of COVID-19 on kidney functions.
The main manifestations of the renal complications include proteinuria, elevated plasma creatinine and blood urea nitrogen, hematuria and less frequently, acute tubular injury (ATI) and Acute Kidney Injury (AKI), direct infection of tubular epithelial cells and podocytes, reduced density of kidney, inflammation and edema of the renal parenchyma. The potential pathogenic mechanisms of kidney involvement in COVID-19 patients include direct infection of tubules, dehydration, cytokine-induced systemic inflammatory immune response, organ crosstalk, and drug-induced cytotoxicity.
In accordance to clinical manifestations of COVID-19 and the prevalence rate of SARS-CoV-2 in public health, we need to pay more attention to the regularly monitoring of renal function and treatment strategy against the infection of SARSCoV-2 to the renal tissue.