HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 3 (ACN) When COVID-19 emerged, the disease was interpreted as a serious respiratory viral infection and, in the first months, the attention of specialists was focused on that aspect, but with the increase of cases and its expansion, it was seen that it was a multisystemic disease, with generalized repercussions in the organism and sequels.
One of the organs most likely to be affected by SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, is the kidney, although there are very few international reports of kidney damage compared to those developed on other complications associated with this pathogen, detected for the first time in China at the end of 2019.
In view of the need to delve deeper into this issue, the Doctor Abelardo Buch López Nephrology Institute of Cuba began a joint research with the Salvador Allende Clinical, Surgical and Teaching Hospital of the capital to determine the renal impact of COVID-19 in convalescents.
Raúl Herrera Valdés, Doctor of Science, head of the National Nephrology Group and leader of the project, gave exclusive details to the Cuban News Agency about the progress of this analysis, which is about to be concluded.
What stage is the study at?
At the moment we are finishing processing the results of the participating subjects to determine their status one year after they have recovered from the disease, and we hope to complete the research in the next few weeks.
What are the most relevant conclusions to date?
The analysis has shown that in Cuba there are more patients with kidney damage after COVID-19 than in previous stages, given that the usual prevalence of chronic kidney disease in the country is around 10 percent.
Likewise, it was found that inflammatory biomolecules harmful to the organism persist in the graduates, where the organs are left with a certain vulnerability due to the damage caused in the active phase of the disease, which is reflected in the so-called cytokine storm.
It was also corroborated that those with greater damage are those who present more comorbidities, since these factors can lead to a persistent chronic inflammatory state and increase the risk of progression of renal disease.
A similar situation occurs with those over 60 years of age, who are prone to a higher level of renal deterioration than the rest of the patients.
What other data will the research reveal?
It remains to verify these results one year after discharge, to see if there is an improvement in the state of health of the convalescents, if the renal disorders are maintained or if there has been a progression of the affectation.
Furthermore, it would be interesting to compare these data with those of other countries, and later perhaps to study the impact of the virus on the kidney in a context of circulation of more aggressive strains of the pathogen, such as Delta, which has shown a high level of contagiousness and a greater risk of severity in those infected.
The research was carried out in the first half of 2020, in the relatively noble stage of the pandemic compared to now; now, due to the exacerbation of the disease, it is presumable that there is a higher degree of kidney damage in the active phase and, therefore, greater renal vulnerability in convalescents.
What is the treatment to be followed in COVID-19 convalescents with renal damage?
The treatment of these patients is fundamentally to act on the progression factors that accelerate the evolution of the disease, specifically to maintain control of blood pressure, glycemia in the case of diabetics, protein excretion in the urine, high cholesterol and triglycerides, uric acid and excess weight.