A report from the Brescia Renal COVID Task Force on the clinical characteristics and short-term outcome of hemodialysis patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Abstract The SARS-CoV-2 epidemic is pressuring health care systems worldwide. Disease outcomes in certain subgroups of patients are still scarce, and data are needed. Therefore, we describe here the experience of four dialysis centers of the Brescia Renal COVID task force. During March 2020, within an overall population of 643 hemodialysis patients, SARS-CoV-2 RNA positivity was detected in 94 (15%). At disease diagnosis, 37 of the 94 (39%) patients (group 1) were managed on an outpatient basis whereas the remaining 57 (61%) (group 2) required hospitalization. Choices regarding management strategy were made based on disease severity. In group 1, 41% received antivirals and 76% hydroxychloroquine. Eight percent died and 5% developed acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). In group 2, 79% received antivirals and 77% hydroxychloroquine. Forty two percent died and 79% developed ARDS. Overall mortality rate for the entire cohort was 29%. History of ischemic cardiac disease, fever, older age (over age 70) and dyspnea at presentation were associated with the risk of developing ARDS whereas fever, cough and a C-reactive protein higher than 50 mg/l at disease presentation were associated with the risk of death. Thus, in our population of hemodialysis patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection, we documented a wide range of disease severity. The risk of ARDS and death is significant for patients requiring hospital admission at disease diagnosis.