COVID-19 and Glomerular Diseases

Nattawat Klomjit, Ladan Zand, Lynn D. Cornell, Mariam Priya Alexander

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


COVID-19 is a systemic disease, and the kidney is one of the target organs of infection. Kidney injury is common and can occur in up to 40% of patients. Several glomerular diseases have been reported in association with COVID-19. Some are likely related to COVID-19 whereas many are likely coincidental. Glomerular diseases that are frequently reported in COVID-19 and have a plausible mechanistic explanation are likely to be related to COVID-19. In contrast, glomerular diseases that are seldom reported and have no known plausible mechanism, are likely to be unrelated. Collapsing glomerulopathy (CG) is by far the most prevalent. Its association with COVID-19, resembling HIV and CG, led to the newly proposed term “COVID-19 associated nephropathy” or “COVAN.” High-risk APOL1 genotypes are the major risk factor in COVAN patients. Podocytopathy, membranous nephropathy (MN), pauci-immune crescentic glomerulonephritis (GN), and thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) are also reported. In kidney allografts, CG remains the most common glomerular pathology. Patients typically present with acute kidney injury (AKI) or abnormal urinary findings at the time of or shortly after COVID-19 diagnosis. Treatment of glomerular disease in patients with COVID-19 is challenging. Providers should cautiously consider balancing risks and benefit of immunosuppression, particularly in patients with active diseases. Short-term outcomes vary but generally remain poor with high morbidity and mortality. Future study of long-term outcomes is needed to improve our understanding of glomerular disease associated with COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1137-1150
Number of pages14
JournalKidney International Reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 International Society of Nephrology


  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • collapsing focal segmental glomerulonephritis
  • glomerular disease
  • glomerulonephritis

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review


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