Clinical phenotypes of acute kidney injury are associated with unique outcomes in critically ill septic children

Rajit K. Basu*, Richard Hackbarth, Scott Gillespie, Ayse Akcan-Arikan, Patrick Brophy, Sean Bagshaw, Rashid Alobaidi, Stuart L. Goldstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Assessment of acute kidney injury (AKI) in septic patients remains imprecise. In adults, the classification of septic patients by clinical AKI phenotypes (severity and timing) demonstrates unique associations with patient outcome vs. broadly defined AKI. Methods: In a multinational prospective observational study, AKI diagnosis in critically ill septic children was stratified by duration (transient vs. persistent) and severity (mild vs. severe by creatinine change and urine output). The outcomes of interest were mortality and intensive care unit resource complexity at 28 days. Results: Seven hundred and fifty-seven septic children were studied (male 52.7%, age 4.6 years (1.5–11.9)). Mortality (overall 12.1%) was different between severe AKI and mild AKI (18.3 vs. 4.4%, p < 0.001) as well as intensive care unit (ICU) complexity (overall 34.5%, 45 vs. 21.7%, p < 0.001). Patients with Persistent AKI had fewer ICU-free days (17 (7, 21) vs. 24 (17, 26), p < 0.001) and higher ICU complexity (52.8 vs. 22.9%, p = 0.002) than transient AKI, even after exclusion of patients with early mortality. AKI phenotypes incorporating temporal and severity data correlate with unique survival (range 4.4–21.6%) and ICU-free days (range of 15–25 days) Conclusions: The outcome of septic children with AKI changes by clinical phenotype. Our findings underscore the importance of prognostic enrichment in sepsis and AKI for the purpose of trial design and patient management. Impact: Although AKI occurs commonly in patients with sepsis (S-AKI), outcomes for children with S-AKI varies based on the severity and timing of the AKI.Existing S-AKI pediatric data utilize a broad singular definition of kidney injury. Increasing the precision of AKI classification results in a new understanding of how S-AKI associates with patient outcome.A refined classification of S-AKI identifies subgroups of children, making possible a targeted and a personalized medicine approach to S-AKI study and management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1031-1038
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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