A prospective cohort study of incident maintenance dialysis in children: an NAPRTC study

Kidney Int. 2003 Feb;63(2):744-55. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-1755.2003.00788.x.


Background: Prior studies of dialysis practices and outcomes have included children with varied duration of end-stage renal disease (ESRD). This study evaluated dialysis characteristics, complications, practices, and outcomes in an incident pediatric cohort.

Methods: The cohort was limited to 1992 subjects enrolled in the North American Pediatric Renal Transplant Cooperative Study registry, starting hemodialysis (HD) or peritoneal dialysis (PD) between 1992 and 1998, without prior dialysis or transplantation.

Results: At dialysis initiation, the median glomerular filtration rate (GFR; Schwartz formula) was 6 to 11 mL/min/1.73 m2, and 90th percentile was 14 to 25 mL/min/1.73 m2. GFR was not associated with age or race. PD was used in 97% of infants, 70 to 80% of children and 59% of adolescents. Blacks were significantly less likely to be started on PD than whites. Twenty percent of patients switched dialysis modality, largely due to infection, inadequate access or family choice. Younger children received HD almost exclusively through percutaneous catheters, while 57% of children more than six years old were dialyzed with fistula or graft after six months on HD. The prevalence of anemia (Hct <33%) still exceeded 40% after six months of dialysis. The median interval to transplantation was 1.4 years, and was significantly greater in non-white, young, and female patients. Mortality rates (deaths/1000 patient-years) varied with age, from 13.6 in infants to 2.2 in adolescents.

Conclusion: These data demonstrate considerable variability in patient management across pediatric centers. Prospective studies are needed to determine the optimum adequacy of care among children on dialysis and to identify populations at risk.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / physiopathology
  • Acute Kidney Injury / therapy*
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Erythropoietin / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Iron / therapeutic use
  • Kidney / physiopathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Kidney Transplantation
  • Male
  • Peritoneal Dialysis* / adverse effects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries
  • Renal Dialysis* / adverse effects
  • Retreatment


  • Erythropoietin
  • Iron