Acute kidney injury in the pediatric intensive care unit: outpatient follow-up Journal Articles uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Few studies have characterized follow-up after pediatric acute kidney injury (AKI). Our aim was to describe outpatient AKI follow-up after pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admission. METHODS: Two-center retrospective cohort study (0-18 years; PICU survivors (2003-2005); noncardiac surgery; and no baseline kidney disease). Provincial administrative databases were used to determine outcomes. EXPOSURE: AKI (KDIGO (Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes) definitions). OUTCOMES: post-discharge nephrology, family physician, pediatrician, and non-nephrology specialist visits. Regression was used to evaluate factors associated with the presence of nephrology follow-up (Cox) and the number of nephrology and family physician or pediatrician visits (Poisson), among AKI survivors. RESULTS: Of nā€‰=ā€‰2041, 355 (17%) had any AKI; 64/355 (18%) had nephrology; 198 (56%) had family physician or pediatrician; and 338 (95%) had family physician, pediatrician, or non-nephrology specialist follow-up by 1 year post discharge. Only 44/142 (31%) stage 2-3 AKI patients had nephrology follow-up by 1 year. Inpatient nephrology consult (adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) 7.76 [95% confidence interval (CI) 4.89-12.30]), kidney admission diagnosis (aHR 4.26 [2.21-8.18]), and AKI non-recovery by discharge (aHR 2.65 [1.55-4.55]) were associated with 1-year nephrology follow-up among any AKI survivors. CONCLUSIONS: Nephrology follow-up after AKI was uncommon, but nearly all AKI survivors had follow-up with non-nephrologist physicians. This suggests that AKI follow-up knowledge translation strategies for non-nephrology providers should be a priority. IMPACT: Pediatric AKI survivors have high long-term rates of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and hypertension, justifying regular kidney health surveillance after AKI. However, there is limited pediatric data on follow-up after AKI, including the factors associated with nephrology referral and extent of non-nephrology follow-up. We found that only one-fifth of all AKI survivors and one-third of severe AKI (stage 2-3) survivors have nephrology follow-up within 1 year post discharge. However, 95% are seen by a family physician, pediatrician, or non-nephrology specialist within 1 year post discharge. This suggests that knowledge translation strategies for AKI follow-up should be targeted at non-nephrology healthcare providers.


  • Robinson, Cal
  • Hessey, Erin
  • Nunes, Sophia
  • Dorais, Marc
  • Chanchlani, Rahul
  • Lacroix, Jacques
  • Jouvet, Philippe
  • Phan, Veronique
  • Zappitelli, Michael

publication date

  • January 2022