Acute renal failure in children: aetiology and management

Paediatric Drugs
G Filler


This review evaluates the various causes and management of acute renal failure (ARF) in children. ARF is defined as an abrupt decline in the renal regulation of water, electrolytes and acid-base balance, and continues to be an important factor contributing to the morbidity and mortality of critically ill infants and children. The common causes of ARF in children include acute tubular necrosis secondary to various causes (including congestive heart failure and sepsis), haemolytic uremic syndrome, and glomerulonephritis and urinary tract obstruction. Ischaemia, toxins (including drugs) as well as primary parenchymal disease, have to be considered and ARF can also be a complication of systemic disease. The basic principles of management are avoidance of life-threatening complications, maintenance of fluid and electrolyte balance, and nutritional support. Only a few patients require specific management of the underlying disorder, although it is important to diagnose these conditions. Knowledge about the use of drugs for the prevention of ARF is scarce. Mannitol, low-dose dopamine, calcium channel antagonists, atrial natriuretic peptide and albumin have been evaluated and, where possible, meta-analyses are cited. Mannitol treatment ...Continue Reading


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