Mortality Risk Factors among Infants Receiving Dialysis in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

J Pediatr. 2022 Mar:242:159-165. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2021.11.025. Epub 2021 Nov 16.


Objectives: To identify risk factors associated with mortality for infants receiving dialysis in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Study design: In this retrospective cohort study, we extracted data from the Pediatrix Clinical Data Warehouse on all infants who received dialysis in the NICU from 1999 to 2018. Using a Cox proportional hazards model with robust SEs we estimated the mortality hazard ratios associated with demographics, birth details, medical complications, and treatment exposures.

Results: We identified 273 infants who received dialysis. Median gestational age at birth was 35 weeks (interquartile values 33-37), median birth weight was 2570 g (2000-3084), 8% were small for gestational age, 41% white, and 72% male. Over one-half of the infants (59%) had a kidney anomaly; 71 (26%) infants died before NICU hospital discharge. Factors associated with increased risk of dying after dialysis initiation included lack of kidney anomalies, Black race, gestational age of <32 weeks, necrotizing enterocolitis, dialysis within 7 days of life, and receipt of paralytics or vasopressors (all P < .05).

Conclusion: In this cohort of infants who received dialysis in the NICU over 2 decades, more than 70% of infants survived. The probability of death was greater among infants without a history of a kidney anomaly and those with risk factors consistent with greater severity of illness at dialysis initiation.

Keywords: acute kidney injury; chronic kidney disease; continuous kidney replacement therapy; dialysis; neonatal; peritoneal dialysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases* / therapy
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal*
  • Male
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors