Severe Acute Kidney Injury Is Associated With Increased Risk of Death and New Morbidity After Pediatric Septic Shock

Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2020 Sep;21(9):e686-e695. doi: 10.1097/PCC.0000000000002418.


Objectives: Acute kidney injury is common in critically ill children; however, the frequency of septic shock-associated acute kidney injury and impact on functional status are unknown. We evaluated functional outcomes of children with septic shock-associated acute kidney injury.

Design: Secondary analysis of patients with septic shock from the prospective Life after Pediatric Sepsis Evaluation study. We defined acute kidney injury using Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes criteria, comparing patients with absent/Stage 1 acute kidney injury to those with Stage 2/3 acute kidney injury (severe acute kidney injury). Our primary outcome was a composite of mortality or new functional morbidity at day 28 of hospitalization or discharge. We also assessed poor long-term outcome, defined as mortality or a persistent, serious deterioration in health-related quality of life at 3 months.

Setting: Twelve academic PICUs in the United States.

Patients: Critically ill children, 1 month to 18 years, with community-acquired septic shock requiring vasoactive-inotropic support.

Interventions: None.

Measurements and main results: More than 50% of patients (176/348) developed severe acute kidney injury; of those, 21.6% (38/176) required renal replacement therapy. Twice as many patients with severe acute kidney injury died or developed new substantive functional morbidity (38.6 vs 16.3%; p < 0.001). After adjustment for age, malignancy, and initial illness severity, severe acute kidney injury was independently associated with mortality or new substantive morbidity (adjusted odds ratio, 2.78; 95% CI, 1.63-4.81; p < 0.001). Children with severe acute kidney injury had poorer health-related quality of life at 3 months (adjusted effect size 2.46; 95% CI, 1.44-4.20; p = 0.002). Children with severe acute kidney injury required longer duration of mechanical ventilation (11.0 vs 7.0 d; p < 0.001) and PICU stay (11.7 vs 7.1 d; p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Among children with septic shock, severe acute kidney injury was independently associated with increased risk of death or new substantive functional morbidity. Survivors of sepsis with severe acute kidney injury were more likely to have persistent, serious health-related quality of life deterioration at 3 months.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury* / epidemiology
  • Acute Kidney Injury* / etiology
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric
  • Morbidity
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sepsis*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Shock, Septic* / complications