Introduction There is limited data on the association of kidney dysfunction with prognosis in COVID-19, and the extent to which acute kidney injury (AKI) predisposes patients to severe illness and inferior outcomes is unclear. We aim to assess the incidence of AKI among patients with COVID-19 and examine their associations with patient outcomes as reported in the available literature thus far. Methods We systematically searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, SCOPUS, and MedRxiv databases for full-text articles available in English published from December 1, 2019 to May 24, 2020. Clinical information was extracted and examined from 20 cohorts that met inclusion criteria, covering 13137 mostly hospitalized patients confirmed to have COVID-19. Two authors independently extracted study characteristics, results, outcomes, study-level risk of bias, and strength of evidence across studies. Neither reviewer was blind to journal titles, study authors, or institutions. Results Median age was 56 years, with 55% male patients. Approximately 43% of patients had severe COVID-19 infection, and approximately 11% died. Prevalence of AKI was 17%; 77% of patients with AKI experienced severe COVID-19 infection, and 52% died. AKI was associated with increased odds of death among COVID-19 patients (pooled odds ratio 15.27, 95% CI 4.82-48.36), although there was considerable heterogeneity across studies and among different regions in the world. Approximately 5% of all patients required use of renal replacement therapy (RRT) Conclusions Kidney dysfunction is common among patients with COVID-19, and patients who develop AKI have inferior outcomes. Additional research into management and potential mechanisms of this association is needed.

  • Adults
  • Older adults
  • Risk factor
  • COVID-19