Urinary sars-cov-2 rna is an indicator for the progression and prognosis of covid-19

Lu Zhang, Maoqing Tian, Yuan Song, Wei Liang, Xiaogang Li, Yongqing Tong, Huiming Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: We aimed to analyze clinical characteristics and find potential factors to predict poor prognosis in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Methods: We analyzed the clinical characteristics and laboratory tests of COVID-19 patients and detected SARS-CoV-2 RNA in urine sediments collected from 53 COVID-19 patients enrolled in Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University from 31 January 2020 to 18 February 2020 with qRT-PCR analysis. Then, we classified those patients based on clinical conditions (severe or non-severe syndrome) and urinary SARS-CoV-2 RNA (URNA or URNA+). Results: We found that COVID-19 patients with severe syndrome (severe patients) showed significantly higher positive rate (11 of 23, 47.8%) of urinary SARS-CoV-2 RNA than non-severe patients (4 of 30, 13.3%, p = 0.006). URNA+ patients or severe URNA+ subgroup exhibited higher prevalence of inflammation and immune discord, cardiovascular diseases, liver damage and renal dysfunction, and higher risk of death than URNA patients. To understand the potential mechanisms underlying the viral urine shedding, we performed renal histopathological analysis on postmortems of patients with COVID-19 and found severe renal vascular endothelium lesion characterized by an increase of the expression of thrombomodulin and von Willebrand factor, markers to assess the endothelium dysfunction. We proposed a theoretical and mathematic model to depict the potential factors that determine the urine shedding of SARS-CoV-2. Conclusions: This study indicated that urinary SARS-CoV-2 RNA detected in urine specimens can be used to predict the progression and prognosis of COVID-19 severity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2089
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Endothelium
  • Indicator
  • Renal pathology
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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