Epidemiology, prognosis and management of potassium disorders in Covid-19.
Reviews in medical virology. 2022;(1):e2262
Coronavirus disease (Covid-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is currently the largest health crisis facing most countries. Several factors have been linked with a poor prognosis for this disease, including demographic factors, pre-existing comorbidities and laboratory parameters such as white blood cell count, D-dimer, C-reactive protein, albumin, lactate dehydrogenase, creatinine and electrolytes. Electrolyte abnormalities particularly potassium disorders are common among Covid-19 patients. Based on our pooled analysis, hypokalemia and hyperkalemia occur in 24.3% and 4.15% of Covid-19 patients, respectively. Potassium level deviation from the normal range may increase the chances of unfavorable outcomes and even death. Therefore, this article reviewed the epidemiology of potassium disorders and explained how hypokalemia and hyperkalemia are capable of deteriorating cardiac outcomes and the prognosis of Covid-19 for infected patients. The article finishes by highlighting some important considerations in the management of hypokalemia and hyperkalemia in these patients.
How SARS-CoV-2 might affect potassium balance via impairing epithelial sodium channels?
Molecular biology reports. 2021;(9):6655-6661
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Electrolyte disorders particularly potassium abnormalities have been repeatedly reported as common clinical manifestations of COVID-19. Here, we discuss how SARS-CoV-2 may affect potassium balance by impairing the activity of epithelial sodium channels (ENaC). The first hypothesis could justify the incidence of hypokalemia. SARS-CoV-2 cell entry through angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) may enhance the activity of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) classical axis and further leading to over production of aldosterone. Aldosterone is capable of enhancing the activity of ENaC and resulting in potassium loss from epithelial cells. However, type II transmembrane serine protease (TMPRSS2) is able to inhibit the ENaC, but it is utilized in the case of SARS-CoV-2 cell entry, therefore the ENaC remains activated. The second hypothesis describe the incidence of hyperkalemia based on the key role of furin. Furin is necessary for cleaving both SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and ENaC subunits. While the furin is hijacked by the virus, the decreased activity of ENaC would be expected, which causes retention of potassium ions and hyperkalemia. Given that the occurrence of hypokalemia is higher than hyperkalemia in COVID-19 patients, the first hypothesis may have greater impact on potassium levels. Further investigations are warranted to determine the exact role of ENaC in SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis.
Serum ACE2, Angiotensin II, and Aldosterone Levels Are Unchanged in Patients With COVID-19.
American journal of hypertension. 2021;(3):278-281
BACKGROUND The role of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is controversially discussed. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) enters host cells by binding to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and activity of the RAAS may affect susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and outcome of patients with COVID-19. METHODS In this prospective single-center study, we determined the serum levels of ACE2, angiotensin II, and aldosterone in patients with COVID-19 compared with control patients presenting with similar symptoms in the emergency unit. RESULTS We analyzed serum samples from 24 SARS-CoV-2 positive and 61 SARS-CoV-2 negative patients. SARS-CoV-2 positive and control patients did not differ in baseline patients characteristics, symptoms, and clinical presentation. Mean serum concentrations of ACE2, angiotensin II, and aldosterone did not differ between the SARS-CoV-2 positive and the control group. In line with this, serum potassium as surrogate parameter for RAAS activity and blood pressure were similar in both groups. CONCLUSIONS In summary, we did not find evidence for altered RAAS activity including angiotensin II, aldosterone, or potassium levels, and blood pressure in patients with COVID-19. CLINICAL TRIALS REGISTRATION Trial Number DRKS00021206.