COVID-19 and Acute Kidney Injuries – What CT Scans Show About It

by | Aug 4, 2021 | CT

Reading Time: 3 minutes

According to recent CT scans, it was shown that those who have caught COVID-19 are at increased risk of acute kidney injury. This can result in multiple organ failures that can prove fatal. 

It is alarming news to hear of such a consequence of catching the disease, especially apart from what COVID-19 is already known to cause. The fact that acute kidney injury has been associated with high death rates in patients of COVID-19 means that catching such an issue through means of CT scans has proven even more important!


How Does the Virus Damage the Kidneys?

Though there isn’t much research yet to know exactly how the virus can damage the kidneys, there are some possibilities that doctors are spending a lot of time gathering data on.

For instance, many doctors believe that the virus targets kidney cells. This is because kidney cells have the right receptors that allow the virus to attach to, invade, and start multiplying itself, damaging the surrounding tissue in the process. The receptors were seen to be incredibly similar to the cells found in the lungs, the main organ that COVID-19 affects!

Speaking of lungs, because of how the virus can lead to pneumonia, another assumption made is that the lack of oxygen in the bloodstream is what causes the kidneys to start failing. This is a common connection made simply because severe cases of pneumonia have shown to cause such an injury as well, where the lack of oxygen causes the kidney to malfunction.

Apart from the lack of oxygen and the receptors that are similar to the ones in the lung, another cause of kidney damage is the body’s extreme response to the virus. The body undergoes what is known as the cytokine storm, in which the body starts filling with cytokines. These cytokines are effective at fighting infection—but unfortunately, a large number of cytokines lead to inflammation that can cause damage to healthy tissue and, as a result, hurt organs like the kidney!


Can Your Kidneys Recover After the Damages?

Much like how there isn’t much research to prove how exactly COVID-19 causes kidney damage, not much research was also done to see if those who have dealt with kidney damage have recovered from it. However, it was assumed that those who were dealt with acute kidney injury but did not have to go through with dialysis have recovered much better than those who needed it. 

Of course, it was also found that even those on dialysis have still recovered their kidney function—but how often this happens is still quite a mystery. Unfortunately, the idea of having to undergo dialysis can be incredibly troubling for many people, especially because it is known to be a life-long treatment!


The Bottom Line

All in all, regardless of whether COVID-19 actually causes kidney-related damage, CT scans have proven incredibly useful in understanding what the virus does to the body. Given the time, such scans will help to discover other risks that the virus may present and give doctors a fighting chance to solve these problems if caught as early as possible. 

Unfortunately, this battle will be here to stay so long as the virus is still around, causing havoc around the world. Thanks to CT scanners and other medical technologies, however, the chances of survival have increased significantly—which is good news to those who may have caught the virus.

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