Trial of Furosemide to Prevent Acute Kidney Injury in Critically Ill Children: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Controlled Trial

Indian J Pediatr. 2021 Nov;88(11):1099-1106. doi: 10.1007/s12098-021-03727-3. Epub 2021 Apr 2.


Objective: To study whether furosemide infusion in early-onset acute kidney injury (AKI) in critically ill children would be associated with a reduced proportion of patients progressing to the higher stage (Injury or Failure) as compared to placebo.

Method: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized pilot trial was conducted. The authors enrolled children aged 1-mo (corrected) to 12-y, who were diagnosed with AKI ("risk" stage) using pediatric-Risk, Injury, Failure, Loss, End stage kidney disease (p-RIFLE) criteria, and achieved immediate resuscitation goals within 24 h of admission. Participants received either furosemide (0.05 to 0.4 mg/kg/h) or placebo (5%-dextrose) infusion. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients progressing to a higher stage (injury or failure). Secondary outcomes were (i) need for renal replacement therapy, (ii) the effect on neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (urine and blood), (iii) fluid balance, (iv) adverse effects, (v) time to achieve renal recovery, (vi) duration of hospital stay and mechanical ventilation, and (vii) all-cause 28-d mortality.

Results: The trial was stopped for futility, and data were analyzed on an intention-to-treat basis (furosemide-group: n = 38; placebo-group: n = 37). No significant difference was noted in the progression of AKI to a higher stage between furosemide and placebo groups (10.5% vs. 21.6%; relative risk = 0.49, 95% CI 0.16 to 1.48) (p = 0.22). There were no differences in the secondary outcomes between the study groups. All-cause 28-d mortality was similar between the groups (10.5% vs. 10.8%). No trial-related severe adverse events occurred.

Conclusions: Furosemide infusion in early-onset AKI did not reduce the progression to a higher stage of AKI. A future trial with large sample size is warranted.

Keywords: Acute kidney injury; Children; Furosemide; Intensive care unit.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury* / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Critical Illness
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Furosemide* / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Renal Replacement Therapy


  • Furosemide