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Importance:Acute kidney injury (AKI) in children is associated with poor short-term and long-term health outcomes; however, the frequency of AKI in children hospitalized for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) has not been previously examined. Objectives:To determine the proportion of children hospitalized for DKA who develop AKI and to identify the associated clinical and biochemical markers of AKI. Design, Setting, and Participants:This medical record review of all DKA admissions from September 1, 2008, through December 31, 2013, was conducted at British Columbia Children's Hospital, the tertiary pediatric hospital in British Columbia, Canada. Children aged 18 years or younger with type 1 diabetes and DKA and with complete medical records available for data analysis were included (n = 165). All data collection occurred between September 8, 2014, and June 26, 2015. Data analysis took place from August 25, 2015, to June 8, 2016. Main Outcomes and Measures:Acute kidney injury was defined using Kidney Disease/Improving Global Outcomes serum creatinine criteria. Multinomial logistic regression was used to identify potential factors associated with AKI. Results:Of the 165 children hospitalized for DKA, 106 (64.2%) developed AKI (AKI stage 1, 37 [34.9%]; AKI stage 2, 48 [45.3%]; and AKI stage 3, 21 [19.8%]). Two children required hemodialysis. In the adjusted multinomial logistic regression model, a serum bicarbonate level less than 10 mEq/L (compared with ≥10 mEq/L) was associated with a 5-fold increase in the odds of severe (stage 2 or 3) AKI (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 5.22; 95% CI, 1.35-20.22). Each increase of 5 beats/min in initial heart rate was associated with a 22% increase in the odds of severe AKI (aOR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.07-1.39). Initial corrected sodium level of 145 mEq/L or greater (compared with 135-144 mEq/L) was associated with a 3-fold increase in the odds of mild (stage 1) AKI (aOR, 3.29; 95% CI, 1.25-8.66). There were no cases of mortality in patients with or without AKI. Conclusions and Relevance:This study is the first to date to document that a high proportion of children hospitalized for DKA develop AKI. Acute kidney injury was associated with markers of volume depletion and severe acidosis. Acute kidney injury is concerning because it is associated with increased morbidity and mortality as well as increased risk of chronic renal disease, a finding that is especially relevant among children who are already at risk for diabetic nephropathy. Strategies are needed to improve the diagnosis, management, and follow-up of AKI in children with type 1 diabetes.

Original publication




Journal article


JAMA pediatrics

Publication Date





Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada2Endocrinology & Diabetes Unit, British Columbia Children's Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


Humans, Diabetic Ketoacidosis, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1, Creatinine, Hospitalization, Incidence, Logistic Models, Risk Factors, Adolescent, Child, Child, Preschool, Canada, Female, Male, Acute Kidney Injury, Biomarkers