Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a pandemic that has affected more than 3 million patients globally. Previous data from Wuhan city showed that acute kidney injury (AKI), proteinuria and hematuria occurred frequently in patients with severe COVID-19. However, the prevalence of kidney injury in milder cases remains unclear.
This retrospective study included two major consecutive cohorts of COVID-19 patients in Sichuan Province. Baseline characteristics, laboratory data including renal function, proteinuria and dipstick hematuria, and other laboratory parameters were collected. A subgroup of patients was followed up for 2–4 weeks to evaluate the short-term outcome of renal impairment.
Overall, 168 COVID-19-positive patients were included in the study. The majority of patients (79.7%) were diagnosed with mild or moderate disease. Half of patients presented with fever; however, in The Tibetan cohort, fever only occurred in 13.4% of patients. On hospital admission, proteinuria and dipstick hematuria were noted in 18.4% and 17.4% of patients, respectively, while AKI only occurred in one patient. Further analysis showed that severe or critical COVID-19 was associated with higher risk of proteinuria [relative risk (RR) 7.37, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.45–22.18, P = 3.8 × 10−4] and dipstick hematuria (RR 8.30, 95% CI 2.69–25.56, P = 2.3 × 10−4). Proteinuria, dipstick hematuria, or the combination of proteinuria and hematuria could significantly predict severe or critical severe COVID-19.
Proteinuria and dipstick hematuria are not uncommon in patients with COVID-19 infection, especially in severe or critical cases.