Aim: The aim of our study was to compare the function and volumes of kidneys of very low birth-weight (VLBW) and of extremely low birth-weight (ELBW) infants at pre-school ages.
Patients and methods: We did a revision of the neonatal records of infants born in our hospital that weighed < or =1500 g at birth. The children were divided into two groups according to their weight at birth: ELBW (<1000 g) and VLBW (1000-1500 g). At the age of 5.7 +/- 1.4 years, the children underwent clinical, laboratory and ultrasound renal assessments.
Results: Sixty-nine children fulfilled the requirements for the study. The rate of neonatal treatment with aminoglycosides was higher in ELBW preterms. Renal function parameters, i.e. estimated glomerular filtration rate and albuminuria, did not differ between the two groups of children. Urinary alpha1-microglobulin excretion was significantly higher and kidneys were significantly smaller in the ELBW group than in the VLBW group.
Conclusion: No impairment or differences in renal parameters were found in pre-school children born ELBW compared with those born with VLBW, except for differences in kidney volume, renal cortical thickness and urinary alpha1-microglobulin excretion. Thus, patients born with ELBW would require a longer follow-up period.