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Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation
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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 456-460
Pediatric Nephrology Consultations in a Tertiary Academic Center in Jordan

Department of Pediatric Nephrology, Jordan University Hospital, Amman, Jordan

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To determine the conditions that result in pediatric nephrology consultations in an academic hospital setting, we studied 178 prospective consecutive consultations for 125 inpatients (69 boys and 56 girls) at the Jordan University Hospital, Amman, Jordan from January 2006 to December 2006. The mean age at the time of consultation was 3.1 years (median of 1 year, and range from 1 day to 16 years). Of the 125 patients, 87 (69.6%) patients had a single consultation, while 38 (30.4%) patients had multiple encounters (range from 1-4 consultations). The reasons for consultations included fluids and electrolytes imba­lances (29.0%), hydronephrosis (15.7%), urinary tract infections (14.2%), acute renal failure (ARF) (14.2%), hypertension (8.40%), and miscellaneous conditions (18.5%). The most frequent fluids and electrolyte disorders were polyuria, hypocalcemia, and hyponatremia. Routine administration of hypotonic intravenous fluids was a major contributory factor to hyponatremia. The most frequent cause of ARF was acute tubular necrosis in association with multiple organ dysfunction and antibiotic nephrotoxicity. Hypertension was mostly neurogenic in origin.

Keywords: Pediatric, Renal, Failure, Electrolytes, Hypertension, Nephrotoxicity, Hydronephrosis, Urinary, Infections, Jordan, Consultations

How to cite this article:
Akl K. Pediatric Nephrology Consultations in a Tertiary Academic Center in Jordan. Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl 2008;19:456-60

How to cite this URL:
Akl K. Pediatric Nephrology Consultations in a Tertiary Academic Center in Jordan. Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl [serial online] 2008 [cited 2022 Sep 30];19:456-60. Available from: https://www.sjkdt.org/text.asp?2008/19/3/456/40514

   Introduction Top

Consultations form an integral part of the pediatric nephrology service. It serves as a teaching experience for the resident, fellow, and consultant alike. The purpose of this pros­pective study is to demonstrate the prevalent reasons for pediatric nephrology consultations in a tertiary academic center in Jordan.

   Patients and Methods Top

We studied 178 prospective consecutive pediatric nephrology consultations for 125 inpatients (69 boys and 56 girls) at the Jordan University Hospital from January 2006 to December 2006. The consults covered pa­tients on the wards and intensive care units (pediatric, neonatal, surgical, and neurosur­gical). We excluded outpatient consultations from this study. The patients were followed up from 1 day to 14 months.

We defined acute renal failure (ARF) as an abrupt decline in glomerular filtration rate, hyponatremia as serum sodium < 135 mmol/ L, severe hyponatremia as serum sodium < 120 mmol/L, polyuria as urine output > 3 ml/ kg/hour, multiple organ dysfunction syn­drome (MODS) as simultaneous dysfunction lasting at least 24 to 48 hours of at least 2 organ systems other than the one with which patient was admitted, [1],[2] hydroneph­rosis as dilatation of the renal pelvis, hyper­tension as systolic blood pressure and/or diastolic blood pressure that is > 95 th per­centile on repeated measurement, [3] recurrent urinary tract infections as > 3 episodes per year, and sepsis as documented infection with complex activation of the immune system.

   Results Top

The mean age of patients was 3.1 years at the time of consultation (range from 1 day to 16 years). A total of 87 (69.6%) patients had a single consultation, while 38 (30.4%) patients had multiple encounters (range from 1 to 4 consultations).

Fluids and electrolyte disorders were the reasons for 52 (29.0%) consultations, which comprised polyuria in 12 cases, hypocalce­mia in 8, hyponatremia in 6, metabolic acidosis in 6, edema in 5, hypernatremia in 5, and hypokalemia in 3, ascites in 2, pulmonary edema in 2, hyperkalemia in 2, and hyper­calcemia in 1. Hyponatremia was associated with chronic pneumonia in 2 cases, marked fluid overload in 1, polyuria in1, Hirschs­prungs disease in 1, and MODS in 1. Such patients precipitated hyponatremia mostly by i.v. hypotonic solutions.

Antenatal hydronephrosis was the reason for 28 (15.7%) consultations; 11 cases of idio­pathic hydronephrosis, 5 neurogenic bladders secondary to myelomeningocele, 4 vesicou­reteral reflux (VUR), 3 imperforate anus, 3 pelviureteric junction obstruction requiring surgery, and 2 posterior urethral valve.

Urinary tract infection (UTI) was the rea­son for 25 (14.2%) consultations; isolated UTI in 18 cases, acute pyelonephritis (APN) asso­ciated with hydronephrosis in 2, part of sepsis in 2, isolated APN in 1, APN associated with VUR in 1, and acute lobar nephronia in 1.

ARF was the reason for 25 (14.2 %) con­sultations. It was associated with MODS in 11 cases, drug nephrotoxicity in 4 (gentami­cin, acyclovir, vancomycin, and furosemide), prerenal in 4 hypernatremia in 3, rapidly prog­ressive glomerulonephritis in 1, lupus neph­ritis in 1, and partial hemolytic uremic syn­drome in 1.

Hypertension was the reason for 15 (8.4%) consultations; neurogenic in 7 cases, reno­parenchymal disease in 3, idiopathic in 2, fluid overload in 1, hydronephrosis in 1, and rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis in 1.

Finally, miscellaneous conditions were the reason for 33 (18.5%) of consultations; hema­turia in 6 cases, vesicoureteral reflux in 5, laboratory abnormalities in 4, choice of drug/ fluid in 3, rickets in 3, renal cyst in 2, neph­rotic syndrome in 2, dysuria in 2, enuresis in 1, workup for systemic lupus in 1, perito­neal dialysis in 2, urine retention in 1, and decreased urine output in 1.

   Discussion Top

The clinical consultations we encountered in the pediatric patients in our tertiary center included fluids and electrolyte disorders, hydronephrosis, urinary tract infections, acute renal failure, hypertension, and several mis­cellaneous conditions.

A common electrolyte disorder in the pe­diatric intensive care unit (PICU) is hypo­natremia which is the most common elec­trolyte disorder in hospitalized patients. [4] The most common cause is use of hypotonic intravenous fluids instead of isotonic ones. [5],[6],[7],[8],[9] This was the major contributing factor to hyponatremia and polyuria in our patients because of the traditional use of hypotonic intravenous fluids in the PICU. One of the most challenging situations in the PICU is differentiating between hyponatremia due to syndrome of inappropriate anti-diuretic hor­mone secretion (SIADH ), which is a volume expanded condition, and cerebral salt was­ting (CSW), which is a volume contracted state. [10] Differentiating between euvolemia and hypovolemia can be clinically difficult even when plasma osmolality is measured. [11],[12]

Error in the diagnosis may be catastrophic as the treatment of each is the opposite of the other. Hospital mortality is higher in the presence of hyponatremia. [13],[14],[15],[16],[17] One out of the two patients who had pulmonary edema without renal or heart failure had hypo­natremic encephalopathy. This association has been described before. [18]

Idiopathic antenatal hydronephrosis was the most common etiology of neonatal hydro­nephrosis. It is usually benign. [19] However, there is a risk of postnatal pathology in mild as well as moderate and severe antenatal hydronephrosis. [20] In cases of hydronephrosis with major anatomical abnormalities, severe vesicoureteral reflux, and neurogenic bladder, the use of antibiotic prophylaxis did not prevent recurrent urinary tract infections in our. Garin et al, demonstrated in a rando­mized controlled study no benefit from pro­phylactic antibiotics. [21] A systematic review had similar conclusion. [22]

The most common cause of ARF in the PICU was acute tubular necrosis associated with MODS and antibiotic nephrotoxicity. The majority of cases of ARF were asso­ciated with MODS that resulted in 100 % mortality. There was no benefit from the use of low dose dopamine [23],[24] or diuretics. [25] Mortality increases when ARF is associated with MODS, [26] sepsis, [27],[28],[29] shock, [30] ventilator associated pneumonia, and antibiotic nephro­toxicity. [31] Nephrotoxic ARF is common in the neonatal intensive care unit. [32] Monito­ring drug levels of aminoglcoside decreases the incidence of ARF, and once daily dosing is safer. [33] Prolonged recovery from vanco­mycin nephrotoxicity may be due to either acute interstitial nephritis or acute tubular necrosis. [34],[35]

Bunchman et al reported 49 %mortality rate in children with ARF undergoing PD. [36] Nonoliguric ARF has better prognosis than oliguric ARF. [37] However, since ARF is usu­ally multifactorial, even nonoliguric ARF may be associated with high mortality.

The majority of our patients had neuro­genic hypertension. Besides the baroreceptor and macula densa mechanisms, renin secre­tion is also regulated by the sympathetic nervous system. The brain has its own renin angiotensin system. Angiotensin IV, may cause hypertension, which does not respond to angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors. However, it normalizes with angiotensin II receptor blockers. [38]

   References Top

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Correspondence Address:
Kamal Akl
Consultant Pediatric Nephrology, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Jordan University Hospital, P.O. Box 831373, Amman 11183
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 18445913

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