Prediction of acute kidney injury (AKI) and requirement for dialysis for COVID-19 patients

Wed Jan 20 2021

Soluble Urokinase Receptor (SuPAR) in COVID-19–Related AKI, published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology

Patients infected with COVID-19 often develop AKI and many of those patients require dialysis.

In a recent paper, Azam et al investigated the link between a patient’s suPAR level and incidence of in-hospital AKI. It appeared that in patients hospitalized with COVID-19, the suPAR-level at the time of admission was a strong predictor of developing in-hospital AKI and the need for dialysis. The higher the suPAR-level, the more severe the outcome.

The association between suPAR levels and incident in-hospital AKI was examined by measuring suPAR levels in plasma samples from 352 adult patients that had been collected within 48 hours of admission.

For patients admitted with a suPAR-level < 4.60 ng/ml, only a 6.0% incidence of AKI was found with no patients developing a need for dialysis1. For patients admitted with a suPAR level > 6.86 ng/ml, there was a 45.8% incidence of AKI with 16.1% of those patients requiring dialysis1.

The authors concluded that admission suPAR levels in patients hospitalized for COVID-19 are predictive of in-hospital AKI and the need for dialysis. SuPAR may be a key component of the pathophysiology of AKI in COVID-19.

This shows that suPAR can be used to ease the burden of AKI in COVID-19.

Acute Kidney Injury

1. Soluble Urokinase Receptor (SuPAR) in COVID-19-Related AKI. Azam TU et al. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2020 (LINK:


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