Premature infants are twice as likely to develop chronic kidney diseases like acute kidney injury and kidney failure compared with full-term babies, according a study. Acute kidney injury (AKI), or a rapid decline in kidney function, is common in premature infants which leads to higher likelihood of dying or of needing an extended stay in the hospital.
Acute kidney injury in premature infants is common and predicts poor clinical outcomes, suggested the study. The study also stated that the amount of proteins excreted in the urine from infants with kidney injury are different from those compared to infants with healthy kidneys, according to a study. The study, which appeared in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN), could lead to better diagnostics related to kidney health in newborns.
Because developing better diagnostic tests for AKI could lead to better prevention and treatment, the researchers assessed the potential of 14 urine proteins for indicating the presence of kidney damage. Using single drops of urine from 113 preterm infants, they found that several of these proteins are good candidates for further research.
Maximum levels in the first four postnatal days of life were 1.7 to 3.7 times higher in those with AKI than those without AKI for the following markers: cystatin c, neutrophil gelatinase associated lipocalin, osteopontin, clusterin, and alpha glutathione S-transferase. “Having better diagnostic tests to diagnose kidney injury can have an important impact on how we care for infants, how we prognosticate outcomes, and how we design studies to prevent and/or mitigate AKI in these very vulnerable babies,” said David Askenazi, researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.