Electrolyte Blood Press.  2020 Dec;18(2):23-30. 10.5049/EBP.2020.18.2.23.

Hypertension and Electrolyte Disorders in Patients with COVID-19

Affiliations
  • 1Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea

Abstract

The worldwide coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is still in progress, but much remains unknown about the disease. In this article, we review the association of hypertension or the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) with COVID-19 and the correlation between electrolyte disorders and disease severity. Underlying hypertension is likely to be associated with severe or critical COVID-19, but the relationship is not clear owing to confounding factors. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) plays an important role in the non-classical RAS pathway and binds to a receptor binding domain of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The RAS blockade is known to increase ACE2 levels, but controversy remains regarding the effect of RAS blockade therapy in the course of COVID-19. Some reports have indicated a protective effect of RAS blockade on COVID-19, whereas others have reported an association of RAS blockade therapy with the occurrence of severe complications such as acute kidney injury and admission to the intensive care unit. Electrolyte disorders are not uncommon in patients with COVID-19, and severe COVID-19 has frequently shown hypokalemia, hyponatremia, and hypocalcemia. Electrolyte imbalances are caused by alteration of RAS, gastrointestinal loss, effects of proinflammatory cytokines, and renal tubular dysfunction by the invasion of SARS-CoV-2.

Keyword

Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2; COVID-19; Electrolyte; Hypertension; Hypocalcemia; Hypokalemia; Hyponatremia; Renin-Angiotensin system
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