Acute Kidney Injury and Fluid Overload in Pediatric Cardiac Surgery

Michael A. Carlisle, Danielle E. Soranno, Rajit K. Basu, Katja M. Gist*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: Acute kidney injury (AKI) and fluid overload affect a large number of children undergoing cardiac surgery and confer an increased risk for adverse complications and outcomes including death. Survivors of AKI suffer long-term sequelae. The purpose of this narrative review is to discuss the short- and long-term impact of cardiac surgery-associated AKI and fluid overload, currently available tools for diagnosis and risk stratification, existing management strategies, and future management considerations. Recent findings: Improved risk stratification, diagnostic prediction tools, and clinically available early markers of tubular injury have the ability to improve AKI-associated outcomes. One of the major challenges in diagnosing AKI is the diagnostic imprecision in serum creatinine, which is impacted by a variety of factors unrelated to renal disease. In addition, many of the pharmacologic interventions for either AKI prevention or treatment have failed to show any benefit, while peritoneal dialysis catheters, either for passive drainage or prophylactic dialysis, may be able to mitigate the detrimental effects of fluid overload. Summary: Until novel risk stratification and diagnostics tools are integrated into routine practice, supportive care will continue to be the mainstay of therapy for those affected by AKI and fluid overload after pediatric cardiac surgery. A viable series of preventative measures can be taken to mitigate the risk and severity of AKI and fluid overload following cardiac surgery and improve care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-342
Number of pages17
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Pediatrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • Acute kidney injury
  • Cardiac surgery
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Fluid overload

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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