Uric acid and dehydration in children with gastroenteritis

Pediatr Int. 2017 Nov;59(11):1151-1156. doi: 10.1111/ped.13366. Epub 2017 Oct 30.


Background: Clinical assessment of dehydration in children with acute gastroenteritis (AGE) is crucial for treatment. The gold standard for assessment is acute weight loss. Dehydration severity, as determined by weight loss, significantly correlates with serum urea nitrogen (UN) in children with AGE. The disadvantage of using serum UN as a marker of dehydration severity, however, is that the level can be affected by nutrition. Serum uric acid (UA) theoretically could serve as an alternative in this regard, but there have been no reports on the direct relationship between serum UA and weight loss. The aim of this study was therefore to assess the relationship between serum UA and weight loss in patients with AGE.

Methods: This was a prospective observational study of children 1-71 months of age admitted to Tokyo Metropolitan Children's Medical Center with AGE between 1 December 2010 and 31 March 2015. Patients with symptoms of AGE ≥ 8 days, chronic disease, or incomplete data were excluded from the study. Pre-post-rehydration weight change was used as an alternative, gold standard marker for the assessment of dehydration severity.

Results: The study participants consisted of 97 children. Serum UA correlated significantly with weight change, and increased significantly along with dehydration severity.

Conclusions: Serum UA can be considered as an adjunct to the clinical assessment of dehydration in children with AGE.

Keywords: children; dehydration; gastroenteritis; pre-post-rehydration weight change; serum uric acid.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Body Weight
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dehydration / diagnosis*
  • Dehydration / etiology
  • Female
  • Fluid Therapy
  • Gastroenteritis / complications*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • ROC Curve
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tokyo
  • Uric Acid / blood*
  • Weight Loss / physiology*


  • Biomarkers
  • Uric Acid