Effects of hyperchloremia on renal recovery in critically ill children with acute kidney injury

Matthew F. Barhight*, John T. Brinton, Danielle E. Soranno, Sarah Faubel, Peter M. Mourani, Katja M. Gist

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Serum chloride derangements are associated with poor clinical outcomes, including acute kidney injury (AKI) and mortality. We sought to determine the association between persistent hyperchloremia and renal recovery in critically ill children with AKI. Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study of all patients with day 2 AKI admitted to a large academic pediatric intensive care unit from January 2014 to December 2015. After applying exclusion criteria, 348 patients were categorized as (1) hyperchloremia on both day 2 and day 7 (PersistentCl), (2) hyperchloremia on day 2 with normochloremia on day 7 (RecoveredCl), (3) normochloremia on day 2 with hyperchloremia on day 7 (DelayedCl), and (4) no hyperchloremia on day 2 nor day 7 (NormalCl). Hyperchloremia was defined as ≥ 110 mEq/L. The primary outcome was renal recovery on day 7, defined as the absence of AKI criteria. Secondary outcomes included discharge renal recovery, mortality, duration of mechanical ventilation, and hospital length of stay. Results: Day 7 renal recovery rates for PersistentCl, RecoveredCl, DelayedCl, and NormalCl were 37%, 66%, 71%, and 52% respectively. PersistentCl had lower odds of day 7 renal recovery (aOR = 0.29; 95% CI, 0.14 to 0.60; p = 0.0009), lower odds of discharge renal recovery (aOR = 0.22; 95% CI, 0.11 to 0.48; p = 0.0001), and higher odds of mortality (aOR = 3.50; 95% CI, 1.11 to 11.10; p = 0.03) when compared with RecoveredCl after adjusting for confounders. Conclusions: Persistent hyperchloremia is independently associated with impaired renal recovery as well as higher mortality. Prospective studies are indicated to determine if serum chloride represents a modifiable risk factor for poor outcomes. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1331-1339
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Nephrology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • Acute kidney disease
  • Acute kidney injury
  • Hyperchloremia
  • Mortality
  • Pediatric
  • Renal recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Nephrology


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