Background Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a recently recognized complication of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). This study aims to evaluate the incidence, risk factors and case-fatality rate of AKI in patients with documented COVID-19. Methods We reviewed the health medical records of 307 consecutive patients hospitalized for symptoms of COVID-19 at the University Hospital of Modena, Italy. Results AKI was diagnosed in 69 out of 307 (22.4%) patients. The stages of AKI were stage 1 in 57.9%, stage 2 in 24.6% and stage 3 in 17.3%. Hemodialysis was performed in 7.2% of the subjects. AKI patients had a mean age of 74.7 ± 9.9 years and higher serum levels of the main marker of inflammation and organ involvement (lung, liver, hearth and liver) than non-AKI patients. AKI events were more frequent in subjects with severe lung comprise. Two peaks of AKI events coincided with in-hospital admission and death of the patients. Kidney injury was associate with a higher rate of urinary abnormalities including proteinuria (0.448± 0.85 vs 0.18 ± 0.29; P=<0.0001) and hematuria (P=0.032) compared to non-AKI patients. At the end of follow-up, 65.2% of the patients did not recover their renal function after AKI. Risk factors for kidney injury were age, male sex, CKD and non-renal SOFA. Adjusted Cox regression analysis revealed that AKI was independently associated with in-hospital death (hazard ratio [HR]=3.74; CI 95%, 1.34-10.46) compared to non-AKI patients. Groups of patients with AKI stage 2-3 and failure to recover kidney function were associated with the highest risk of in-hospital mortality. Lastly, long-hospitalization was positively associated with a decrease of serum creatinine, likely due to muscle depletion occurred with prolonged bed rest. Conclusions AKI was a dire consequence of patients with COVID-19. Identification of patients at high-risk for AKI and prevention of kidney injury by avoiding dehydration and nephrotoxic agents is imperative in this vulnerable cohort of patients.