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Long-term kidney outcomes following childhood acute kidney injury receiving dialysis: a population-based cohort study

Robinson C, Jeyakumar N, Luo B, Wald R, Garg A, Nash D, McArthur E, Greenberg J, Askenazi D, Mammen C, Thabane L, Goldstein S, Parekh R, Zappitelli M, Chanchlani R. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2021; 32(8):2005-19. Epub 2021 May 26. DOI:

Background — Acute kidney injury (AKI) is common during pediatric hospitalizations and associated with adverse short-term outcomes. However, long-term outcomes among survivors of pediatric AKI who received dialysis remain uncertain.

Methods — To determine the long-term risk of kidney failure (defined as receipt of chronic dialysis or kidney transplant) or death over a 22-year period for pediatric survivors of dialysistreated AKI, we used province-wide health administrative databases to perform a retrospective cohort study of all neonates and children (aged 0-18 years) hospitalized in Ontario, Canada, from April 1, 1996, to March 31, 2017, who survived a dialysis-treated AKI episode. Each AKI survivor was matched to four hospitalized pediatric comparators without dialysis-treated AKI, based on age, sex, and admission year. We reported the incidence of each outcome and performed Cox proportional hazards regression analyses, adjusting for relevant covariates.

Results — We identified 1688 pediatric dialysis-treated AKI survivors (median age 5 years) and 6752 matched comparators. Among AKI survivors, 53.7% underwent mechanical ventilation and 33.6% had cardiac surgery. During a median 9.6-year follow-up, AKI survivors were at significantly increased risk of a \ composite outcome of kidney failure or death versus comparators. Death occurred in 113 (6.7%) AKI survivors, 44 (2.6%) developed kidney failure, 174 (12.1%) developed hypertension, 213 (13.1%) developed chronic kidney disease (CKD), and 237 (14.0%) had subsequent AKI. AKI survivors had significantly higher risks of developing CKD and hypertension versus comparators. Risks were greatest in the first year after discharge and gradually decreased over time.

Conclusions — Survivors of pediatric dialysis-treated AKI are at higher long-term risks of kidney failure, death, CKD, and hypertension, compared with a matched hospitalized cohort.