Vancomycin associated acute kidney injury in pediatric patients

PLoS One. 2018 Oct 3;13(10):e0202439. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0202439. eCollection 2018.


Introduction: Vancomycin associated acute kidney injury (vAKI) is a well known complication in pediatric patients. Identification and characterization of the incidence and risk factors for vAKI in the pediatric population would assist clinicians in potentially preventing or mitigating vAKI.

Methods and materials: A 6 year retrospective cohort study was designed. Patients were included if they were < 19 years of age, received vancomycin as inpatients, and had a baseline SCr and one other SCr drawn during and up to 72 hours after the discontinuation of vancomycin. Data collection included patient demographics, vancomycin doses and length of therapy, vancomycin serum concentrations, and concomitant medications. The Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) criteria were used to characterize acute kidney injury. Descriptive statistical methods were used and ordinal logistic regression was employed to determine variables significantly associated with vAKI.

Results: A total of 7,095 patients met study criteria (55.4% male, median age 4.1 years (IQR 0.67-11.2 years)). Mechanical ventilation was used in 7.9% (n = 563) and mortality was 4.9% (n = 344). A total of 153 concomitant medications were identified. A median of 5 (IQR 3-7) SCr values were obtained and median SCr prior to vancomycin was 0.39 (IQR 0.28-0.57) mg/dL (CrCl 134±58 mL/min/1.73m2). Vancomycin was administered for a median of 2 (IQR 1-3) days (14.9±1.6 mg/kg/dose). vAKI was present in 12.2% (n = 862: KDIGO stage 1 (8.30%, n = 589), KDIGO stage 2 (1.94%, n = 138) KDIGO stage 3 (1.89%, n = 134)). Mean vancomycin serum concentration at 6-8 hours after a dose for patients with vAKI (10.7±8.9 mg/L) was significantly, but not clinically different for patients with no vAKI (7.5±6.3 mg/L). (p<0.05) Ordinal logistic regression identified total dose of vancomycin, vancomycin administration in the intensive care unit, and concomitant medication administration as significant for vAKI. In particular, concomitant administration of several different medications, including nafcillin, clindamycin, and acetazolamide, were noted for strong associations with vAKI. (p<0.05).

Conclusions: Moderate to severe acute kidney injury due to vancomycin is infrequent in children and associated with concomitant medication use and total dose of vancomycin. Serum vancomycin concentrations are not useful predictors of vAKI in the pediatric population.

MeSH terms

  • Acetazolamide / administration & dosage
  • Acute Kidney Injury / chemically induced
  • Acute Kidney Injury / mortality
  • Acute Kidney Injury / pathology
  • Acute Kidney Injury / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clindamycin / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric
  • Kidney / drug effects*
  • Kidney / injuries
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Nafcillin / administration & dosage
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Vancomycin / blood
  • Vancomycin / toxicity*


  • Clindamycin
  • Nafcillin
  • Vancomycin
  • Acetazolamide

Grant support

The author(s) received no specific funding for this work.