Acute renal failure in children: etiology, treatment and outcome

Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl. 2006 Jun;17(2):153-8.


Children with acute renal failure (ARF) may be treated in pediatric renal or intensive care (PICU) units where there is an increasing use of continuous renal replacement therapies such as hemofiltration (HF). Over three years, we prospectively recorded details of all patients with ARF treated both within our regional pediatric renal unit, in two local neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), and one PICU, which are all supported by our institution. Our study included eighty-three ARF patients (43% male) with a median age of 5.7 years (range 1 day - 19.8 years); 41% of patients were < 2 years, 20% 2-5 years, 13% 5-10 years and 26% > 10 years of age. A total of 37 patients (45%) were treated in the renal unit versus 46 (55%) patients in NICU/PICU. The initial treatment modality was conservative in 33%, peritoneal dialysis (PD) in 23%, hemodialysis (HD) in 15%, HF in 28%, and isolated plasmafiltration in one percent of the patients. About 16% of the patients required more than one treatment modality. Outcome data at three months showed normal renal function in 49%, deaths in 20%, dialysis dependent disease in 14%, chronic renal failure (GFR < 60ml/min/1.73m2) in eight percent, and proteinuria and/or hypertension in seven percent of the patients. Only one (3%) death occurred in 37 patients treated in the renal unit compared to 16 deaths in 46 patients (35%) treated in the NICU/PICU. Our findings further confirm the low mortality rate with isolated renal failure and the substantial mortality and renal workload in intensive care areas where renal failure is often part of multi-organ failure. Further prospective studies will be required to analyze the impact of early hemofiltration in such patients.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury* / etiology
  • Acute Kidney Injury* / mortality
  • Acute Kidney Injury* / therapy
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Hemofiltration
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric
  • Male
  • Peritoneal Dialysis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Renal Replacement Therapy
  • Treatment Outcome