Acute Kidney Injury and Outcomes in Children Undergoing Noncardiac Surgery: A Propensity-Matched Analysis

Anesth Analg. 2021 Feb 1;132(2):332-340. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000005069.


Background: Acute kidney injury (AKI) has been well documented in adults after noncardiac surgery and demonstrated to be associated with adverse outcomes. We report the prevalence of AKI after pediatric noncardiac surgery, the perioperative factors associated with postoperative AKI, and the association of AKI with postoperative outcomes in children undergoing noncardiac surgery.

Methods: Patients ≤18 years of age who underwent noncardiac surgery with serum creatinine during the 12 months preceding surgery and no history of end-stage renal disease were included in this retrospective observational study at a single tertiary academic hospital. Patients were evaluated during the first 7 days after surgery for development of any stage of AKI, according to Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) criteria. Patients were classified into stages of KDIGO AKI for the purposes of describing prevalence. For further analyses, patients were grouped into those who developed any stage of AKI postoperatively and those who did not. Additionally, the time point at which each patient was first diagnosed with stage I AKI or greater was also assessed. Pre-, intra-, and postoperative factors were compared between the 2 groups. A multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression model was created to examine the time to first diagnosis of AKI using all nonredundant covariates. Analysis of the association of AKI with postoperative outcomes, mortality and 30-day readmission, was undertaken utilizing propensity score-matched controls and a multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression model.

Results: A total of 25,203 cases between 2013 and 2018 occurred; 8924 met inclusion criteria. Among this cohort, the observed prevalence of postoperative AKI was 3.2% (288 cases; confidence interval [CI], 2.9-3.6). The multivariable Cox model showed American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) status to be associated with the development of postoperative AKI. Several other factors, including intraoperative hypotension, were significantly associated with postoperative AKI in univariable models but found not to be significantly associated after adjustment. The multivariable Cox analyses with propensity-matched controls showed an estimated hazard ratio of 3.28 for mortality (CI, 1.71-6.32, P < .001) and 1.55 for 30-day readmission (CI, 1.08-2.23, P = .018) in children who developed AKI versus those who did not.

Conclusions: In children undergoing noncardiac surgery, postoperative AKI occurred in 3.2% of patients. Several factors, including intraoperative hypotension, were significantly associated with postoperative AKI in univariable models. After adjustment, only ASA status was found to be significantly associated with AKI in children after noncardiac surgery. Postoperative AKI was found to be associated with significantly higher rates of mortality and 30-day readmission in multivariable, time-varying models with propensity-matched controls.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / blood
  • Acute Kidney Injury / diagnosis
  • Acute Kidney Injury / epidemiology*
  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Los Angeles / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Propensity Score
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative / adverse effects*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biomarkers
  • Creatinine