Background and aims Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common consequence of perinatal asphyxia (PA). Therapeutic hypothermia (TH) used for neuroprotection in hypoxic-ischaemic-encephalopathy (HIE) may also ameliorate kidney injury. AKI can be associated with more severe PA, but association with worse neurological outcome remains to be proven. We aim to evaluate the incidence of AKI in neonates under TH and the association with HIE grades and outcome.
Methods A total of 51 cooled infants were reviewed using a prospectively collected database. Modified AKIN criteria were used to classify AKI. We studied perinatal, resuscitation and clinical data during admission to the NICU. Outcome of interest was duration of NICU stay, predictable neurologic outcome and mortality.
Results AKI was found in 17 of 51 neonates (33%). Based on the modified AKIN criteria, 13, 1, and 3 patients had stages I, II, and III, respectively. AKI was more frequent in HIE 2/3 than in the rare HIE 1 infants that were cooled (p < 0.03) and in those with worse base deficit at birth (p < 0.05). A significant association was found between vancomycin and gentamicin use and AKI (p < 0.01). Renal replacement therapy was needed in 2/3 of AKIN stage III infants. NICU stay, mortality and predicted adverse neurologic outcomes were not associated with AKI.
Conclusions AKI was less frequent in our cohort than the one previously described in non-cooled newborns. More severely asphyxiated neonates were more likely to experience AKI, but AKI was not related to worse outcomes.