Intraoperative renal near-infrared spectroscopy indicates developing acute kidney injury in infants undergoing cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass: a case-control study

Crit Care. 2015 Jan 29;19(1):27. doi: 10.1186/s13054-015-0760-9.


Introduction: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a frequent complication after cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass in infants. Renal near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is used to evaluate regional oximetry in a non-invasive continuous real-time fashion, and reflects tissue perfusion. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between renal oximetry and development of AKI in the operative and post-operative setting in infants undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass surgery.

Methods: In this prospective study, we enrolled 59 infants undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass surgery for congenital heart disease for univentricular (n = 26) or biventricular (n = 33) repair. Renal NIRS was continuously measured intraoperatively and for at least 24 hours postoperatively and analysed for the intraoperative and first 12 hours, first 24 hours and first 48 hours postoperatively. The renal oximetry values were correlated with the paediatric risk, injury, failure, loss, end (pRIFLE) classification for AKI, renal biomarkers and the postoperative course.

Results: Twenty-eight (48%) infants developed AKI based on pRIFLE classification. Already during intraoperative renal oximetry and further in the first 12 hours, 24 hours and 48 hours postoperatively, significantly lower renal oximetry values in AKI patients compared with patients with normal renal function were recorded (P < 0.05). Of the 28 patients who developed AKI, 3 (11%) needed renal replacement therapy and 2 (7%) died. In the non-AKI group, no deaths occurred. Infants with decreased renal oximetry values developed significantly higher lactate levels 24 hours after surgery. Cystatin C was a late parameter of AKI, and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin values were not correlated with AKI occurrence.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that prolonged low renal oximetry values during cardiac surgery correlate with the development of AKI and may be superior to conventional biochemical markers. Renal NIRS might be a promising non-invasive tool of multimodal monitoring of kidney function and developing AKI in infants undergoing cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / etiology*
  • Acute Kidney Injury / mortality
  • Biomarkers
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / mortality
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass / adverse effects*
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass / mortality
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / complications
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Kidney / blood supply
  • Kidney / injuries*
  • Kidney / surgery
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality
  • Prospective Studies
  • Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared / statistics & numerical data*


  • Biomarkers