COVID-19 may affect kidney filtering

Reuters

Posted at Feb 02 2021 08:09 AM

COVID-19 impairs the kidneys' ability to filter waste and toxic substances in some patients, a new report suggests. 

Kidney filters do not usually allow much protein into the urine. Researchers who studied 103 COVID-19 patients found that about 24% of them had high levels of the protein albumin in their urine, and 21% had high levels of the protein cystatin c in their urine. 

About 25% of the patients had a noninfectious piece of the coronavirus in their urine, but none of the samples contained infectious virus. 

That suggests the virus particles researchers did see were "a direct result of a filtration abnormality rather than a viral infection of the kidney," according to a report posted on Sunday on medRxiv ahead of peer review.

None of the patients had signs of kidney dysfunction, other than the filtration issues. 

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"At this stage, we do not know whether or not these abnormalities are a sign of long-term consequences," said coauthor Choukri Ben Mamoun of the Yale School of Medicine. "It is for this reason that we report these findings and emphasize the need for long-term examination of the consequences of this infection."