Clinical course of neonatal acute kidney injury: multi-center prospective cohort study


Neonatal acute kidney injury (AKI) has been associated with unfavorable outcomes, including increased mortality. We aimed to describe the clinical course and outcomes during the first 7 days after diagnosis in newborns with AKI in three neonatal intensive care units in Popayán-Colombia.


Multi-center prospective cohort study conducted between June 2019 and December 2020 in three NICUs after ethical approval. We included newborns between 2 and 28 days of life, first diagnosed with AKI using the KDIGO classification modified for newborns which consider increased serum creatinine values over baseline values as well as urine output over time in hours or both. Patients with chromosomal abnormalities, major kidney malformations, and complex congenital heart disease were excluded. Patients were followed for up to 7 days after diagnosis and the maximum KDIGO stage, recovery of kidney function, need for renal replacement therapy and cumulative incidence of death were evaluated.


Over the 18 months of the study, 4132 newborns were admitted to the NICUs, and 93 patients (2.25, 95% CI 1.82-2.75%) developed neonatal AKI. 59.1% of the newborns were premature and there were no differences in severity according to gestational age. During follow-up, the maximum KDIGO was 64.5% for AKI-stage 1, 11.8% for AKI-stage 2, and 23.7% for AKI-stage 3. Kidney function recovery was higher in AKI-stage 1 patients vs. AKI-severe (AKI-stage 2 and 3) (95% vs. 48.5%). Five patients (5.4%) received renal replacement therapy and 15 died (16.1%), four in AKI-stage 1 vs. 11 in AKI-severe (6.7% vs 33.3%).


Newborns admitted to the NICUs can develop AKI regardless of gestational age, and it is more frequent between the second and ninth days of life. More patients whit AKI-stage 1 recover and die less than those in a severe stage.


Acute kidney injury; Infant, Newborn; Intensive care units, Neonatal; KDIGO; Mortality; Renal replacement therapy.

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