Risk factors and inpatient outcomes associated with acute kidney injury at pediatric severe sepsis presentation

Pediatr Nephrol. 2018 Oct;33(10):1781-1790. doi: 10.1007/s00467-018-3981-8. Epub 2018 Jun 14.


Background: Little data exist on acute kidney injury (AKI) risk factors in pediatric sepsis. We identified risk factors and inpatient outcomes associated with AKI at sepsis recognition in children with severe sepsis.

Methods: Retrospective, cross-sectional study with inpatient outcome description of 315 patients > 1 month to < 20 years old with severe sepsis in a pediatric intensive care unit over 3 years. Exposures included demographics, vitals, and laboratory data. The primary outcome was kidney disease: Improving Global Outcomes creatinine-defined AKI within 24 h of sepsis recognition. Factors associated with AKI and AKI severity were identified using multivariable Poisson and multinomial logistic regression, respectively.

Results: AKI was present in 42% (133/315) of severe sepsis patients, and 26% (83/315) had severe (stage 2/3) AKI. In multivariable-adjusted analysis, hematologic/immunologic comorbidities, malignancies, chronic kidney disease (CKD), abdominal infection, admission illness severity, and minimum systolic blood pressure (SBP) ≤ 5th percentile for age and sex within 24 h of sepsis recognition were associated with AKI. Factors associated with mild AKI were CKD and abdominal infection, while factors associated with severe AKI were younger age, hematologic/immunologic comorbidities, malignancy, abdominal infection, and minimum SBP ≤ 5th percentile. Patients with AKI had increased hospital mortality (17 vs. 8%, P = 0.02) and length of stay [median 20 (IQR 10-47) vs. 16 days (IQR 7-37), P = 0.03].

Conclusions: In pediatric severe sepsis, AKI is associated with age, comorbidities, infection characteristics, and hypotension. Future evaluation of risk factors for AKI progression during sepsis is warranted to minimize AKI progression in this high-risk population.

Keywords: Acute kidney injury; Child; Pediatric intensive care units; Risk factors; Sepsis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / blood
  • Acute Kidney Injury / diagnosis
  • Acute Kidney Injury / etiology
  • Acute Kidney Injury / mortality*
  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Comorbidity
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Hypotension / etiology
  • Hypotension / mortality*
  • Infant
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric / statistics & numerical data*
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sepsis / complications*
  • Sepsis / diagnosis
  • Sepsis / mortality
  • Sepsis / therapy
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Creatinine