Background: Acute renal failure (ARF) was investigated to determine the prevalence of ARF clinical types, etiology, comorbidities, and outcome in Nigerian children.
Methods: Consecutive cases of ARF admitted from March, 1994 through February, 2003 were prospectively studied. Information were obtained concerning the following: age, gender, body surface area, early (within 48 hours of onset of ARF) or late (>48 hours of onset of ARF) presentation, admission duration, etiology, comorbidities, urine volume/day, dialysis need, reasons for considering dialysis, laboratory investigations, and outcome in each patient. Histopathologic reports of percutaneous renal and surgical biopsies, as well as autopsy specimens, were reviewed.
Results: There were 78 boys and 45 girls (M:F, 1.73:1); mean age was 6.28 +/- 4.0 years. A portion of patients presented early (46.3%), while 53.7% presented late. Oliguric (63.41%), anuric (20.33%), and nonoliguric (16.26%) ARF were the clinical types seen. Dialysis requirement was significantly higher in oliguric (P < 0.005) and anuric (P < 0.005) than nonoliguric ARF. Primary and secondary etiologies accounted for 29% and 71% of ARF cases, respectively. Renal Burkitt's lymphoma (47.2%), glomerulonephritis (27.8%), nephrotic syndrome (16.7%), hemolytic uremic syndrome (5.5%), and acute tubulointerstitial nephritis (2.8%) were primary etiologies. Plasmodium falciparum malaria (42.53%), septicemia (28.73%), hypovolemia (11.49%), and obstructive uropathy (8.05%) were major secondary etiologies. Financial constraints on the part of parents of patients, as well as inadequate and/or lack of dialysis equipment, were major inhibitions to effective management of the patients; in fact, 6 patients took voluntary discharge due to inability to afford the cost of treatment. Mortality risk factors were late presentation [odds ratio (OR) 3.5, P < 0.001], dialysis eligibility (OR 3.8, P < 0.001), nondialysis (OR 23.1, P= 0.00004), primary etiology (OR 2.6, P < 0.025), and presence of > or =2 comorbidities (OR 2.9, P < 0.025); overall mortality rate was 46.2%.
Conclusion: These results show that many of the causes of ARF in our patients are preventable; it should be possible to reduce morbidity due to ARF through purposive preventive measures.