Background: Pediatric acute kidney injury (AKI) is associated with long-term morbidity and mortality; however, outcomes improve when AKI is detected earlier. Current definitions of AKI use baseline creatinine; community-acquired AKI (CA-AKI) is difficult to define and detect in the pediatric emergency department (ED) when no baseline creatinine is available. Our objective was to compare age- and gender-based creatinine norms to the traditional baseline (lowest creatinine in previous 3 months) to diagnose CA-AKI.
Methods: This was a retrospective cross-sectional study conducted in children 1 month-18 years of age seen in the pediatric ED in whom a creatinine was obtained.
Results: Per the Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes AKI definition in encounters with baseline creatinine available, 343/2338 (14.7%) had CA-AKI. When the upper limit of the age- and gender-based creatinine norm was applied as a surrogate baseline creatinine, CA-AKI was diagnosed in 1.5% of encounters (239/15,486). Additionally, CA-AKI was diagnosed in 178 cases using the upper limit of age- and gender-based creatinine norms only, as these cases did not have a baseline creatinine.
Conclusions: Age- and gender-based creatinine norms can be applied as a surrogate baseline to detect CA-AKI in all children regardless of whether baseline creatinine is available, potentially detecting it earlier.