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Renal insufficiency in children born preterm: examining the role of neonatal acute kidney injury



To identify the prevalence of renal insufficiency (RI) in children with a history of prematurity and acute kidney injury (AKI).

Study design

This prospective cohort study evaluated renal function in children born preterm at 5–9 years of age. Univariable analyses compared perinatal and follow-up data from subjects with and without AKI history, and with and without current RI. Regression analyses were attempted to model RI as a function of AKI and other clinical risk factors.


Fifteen of 43 (35%) participants had previously undiagnosed RI. Only children with no AKI history or neonatal stage 1 AKI presented for follow-up. Children born preterm with a history of stage 1 AKI had higher serum creatinine (sCr) at follow-up, but were not more likely to have RI compared to children without stage 1 AKI history (RI prevalence 30% and 36% in AKI and non-AKI group, respectively).


The high prevalence of RI in this preterm cohort at middle childhood follow-up highlights the need for routine kidney health assessments in this population. Large multicenter studies are needed to further characterize the impact of premature birth and mild AKI on renal function throughout childhood.

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Fig. 1: Factors associated with neonatal Stage 1 AKI.
Fig. 2: Comparison of eGFR values using the full (CKiDfull) and bedside (CKiDbed) equations.
Fig. 3: Comparison of eGFR values for children with and without Stage 1 AKI history using the bedside and full CKiD equations.


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The authors would like to acknowledge The Mount Sinai Clinical Research Unit for their assistance with all aspects of the study visits and specimen processing, and The Mount Sinai Human Immune Monitoring Core Facility for their performance of the NGAL assays.


This work was supported by a grant from The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Pediatric Scholars Program.

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Correspondence to Andrea S. Weintraub.

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Pulju, M., Pruitt, C., Reid-Adam, J. et al. Renal insufficiency in children born preterm: examining the role of neonatal acute kidney injury. J Perinatol 41, 1432–1440 (2021).

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