1 in 3,000 babies are born with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH)
1/3 of babies with CDH studied at Children’s Hospital Colorado developed acute kidney injury (AKI)
Research background: risk factors associated with adverse outcomes in neonates with congenital diaphragmatic hernia
A congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is a birth defect that can form between 8 to 10 weeks of gestation, occurring in one of every 3,000 live births. It compromises the in utero growth of and development of the heart and lungs, causing lung parenchyma and vascular abnormalities. In severe cases, about one-third of infants with CDH will require extracorporeal life support (ECLS). Compared to a 50 to 80% survival rate for neonates with isolated CHD, those requiring ECLS are approximately six times more likely to die.
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is common in critically ill individuals, and neonates with CDH are at increased risk for both AKI and death. Yet, the risk factors responsible for development of AKI in infants with CDH are not known.
Examine antenatal characteristics and postnatal exposures associated with AKI
Determine the impact of AKI on long-term outcomes, including length of stay, duration of mechanical ventilation and mortality
Research methods: a retrospective study of infants with CDH
The single-center retrospective study evaluated the electronic health records of infants with CDH managed in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Children’s Colorado between April 2009 and November 2017.
Extracted data included:
Antenatal measures of CDH severity including presence or absence of liver herniation
PPLV, TLV, LHR and O:E LHR from prenatal imaging for inborn patients
Presence of CDH, congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract, and chromosomal anomalies
Day of initiation and duration of ECLS, if it was required
Timing of CDH and abdominal closure surgery
At Children’s Colorado, for patients requiring ECLS, CDH repair occurs in first 24 to 48 hours after ECLS cannulation
Highest daily value of plasma free hemoglobin levels for patients on ECLS
Daily net fluid balance
To derive a fluid-corrected serum creatinine (SCr) calculation
AKI was defined and staged using the SCr criteria of the Neonatal Modified Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes definition.
Research results: incidence, severity outcomes for infants with CDH who develop acute kidney infection
Incidence of AKI
81% of infants requiring ECLS had AKI
AKI occurred in 34 infants during first 30 days of life
44% were stage 1
29% were stage 2
27% were stage 3
Day of life 12 was median day of diagnosis
9 had two episodes of AKI
2 had 3 episodes of AKI
8 required CRRT for metabolic control of uremia and fluid removal for anuria or oliguria
All received ECLS
Antenatal and postnatal exposures associated with AKI
Infants with AKI were at higher risk for:
lower antenatal assessments of fetal lung volume (mean PPLV 17.5%, median TLV 25 mL, median LHR 1, and median O: E LHR 38.5)
liver herniation into the chest (85% occurrence)
ECLS (95% occurrence, unadjusted)
Effects of AKI on long-term outcomes
Survival, n (%)
Entire Cohort, n=90
No AKI, n=56
Any AKI, n=34
Stage 1 AKI, n=15
Stage 2 AKI, n=10
Stage 3 AKI, n=9
ECLS and no AKI, n=6
ECLS and AKI, n=26
*(p-value <0.0001 AKI vs No AKI)
Mechanical ventilation: AKI associated with increased mechanical ventilation duration and length of stay
23.5 days median duration with AKI (13 days without)
59 days median length of stay with AKI (39 days without)
Research discussion and conclusion: AKI is common in infants CDH and associated with adverse outcomes
Key study findings
AKI occurred in more than one-third of patients with CDH
AKI associated with reduced survival
Survival rates decreased with increasing stage of AKI
ECLS greatest predictor for development of AKI
Increased odds of AKI with ECLS exposure 72 and 24 hours prior to diagnosis of AKI and on the day of diagnosis
Diuretic use, abdominal closure surgery, decrements in MAP and increased plasma free hemoglobin associated with increased odds of AK
Clinical considerations from study authors
Infants with CDH requiring ECLS should undergo increased AKI surveillance and renal protective strategies since ECLS was the greatest risk factor for the development of AKI.
Targeted AKI prevention strategies and increased AKI surveillance could improve mortality rates, especially in those requiring ECLS.
Due to increased odds of AKI with abdominal closure surgery, silo placement in patients at risk for abdominal compartment syndrome should be contemplated.
Following abdominal closure, study authors recommend close monitoring of intraabdominal pressure, utilizing bladder pressure as a surrogate, to mitigate the risk of AKI secondary to abdominal compartment syndrome
With limited therapies for treating established AKI, primary prevention of AKI is essential to improve outcomes. Standardized care bundles addressing AKI risk factors may reduce AKI incidence and severity.
Children's Hospital Colorado partners with NRC Health to gather star ratings and reviews from patients, residents and family survey data.
This provider either practices in a department or specialty that we currently do not survey, or does not have at least 10 ratings in the last 12 months. Learn more about patient ratings and reviews.
Children's Hospital Colorado providers
Children’s Hospital Colorado providers are faculty members of the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Our specialists are nationally ranked and globally recognized for delivering the best possible care in pediatrics.
Some healthcare professionals listed on our website have medical privileges to practice at Children’s Hospital Colorado, but they are community providers. They schedule and bill separately for their services, and are not employees of the Hospital.