Pediatric Nephrology

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 169–176 | Cite as

Acute kidney injury in neonatal encephalopathy: an evaluation of the AWAKEN database

  • Megan J. KirkleyEmail author
  • Louis Boohaker
  • Russell Griffin
  • Danielle E. Soranno
  • Jason Gien
  • David Askenazi
  • Katja M. Gist
  • On behalf of the Neonatal Kidney Collaborative (NKC)
Original Article



Acute kidney injury (AKI) is common in neonatal encephalopathy (NE) and is associated with worse outcomes. Our objectives were to determine the incidence, risk factors, and outcomes of AKI in infants with NE.


We performed a retrospective analysis of infants ≥ 34 weeks’ gestational age with a diagnosis of NE from the Analysis of Worldwide Acute Kidney injury Epidemiology in Neonates (AWAKEN) database. AKI was defined using the modified Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes criteria. Perinatal and postnatal factors were evaluated. Multivariate logistic and linear regressions were performed.


One hundred and thirteen patients with NE were included. 41.6% (47) developed AKI. Being born outside the admitting institution (OR 4.3; 95% CI 1.2–14.8; p = 0.02), intrauterine growth restriction (OR 10.3, 95% CI 1.1–100.5; p = 0.04), and meconium at delivery (OR 2.8, 95% CI 1.04–7.7; p = 0.04) conferred increased odds of AKI. After controlling for confounders, infants with AKI stayed in the hospital an average of 8.5 days longer than infants without AKI (95% CI 0.79–16.2 days; p = 0.03).


In this multi-national analysis, several important perinatal factors were associated with AKI and infants with both NE and AKI had longer length of stay than NE alone. Future research aimed at early AKI detection, renoprotective management strategies, and understanding the long-term renal consequences is warranted in this high-risk group of patients.


Neonate Acute kidney injury Neonatal encephalopathy Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy 



The authors would like to thank Krysta Smith for editing and assistance with the manuscript. The authors would also like to thank the outstanding work of the following clinical research personnel and colleagues for their involvement in AWAKEN:

Ariana Aimani, Ana Palijan, MD, Michael Pizzi—Montreal Children’s Hospital, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Julia Wrona, BS—University of Colorado, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Aurora, Colorado, USA; Melissa Bowman, RN—University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA; Teresa Cano, RN, Marta G. Galarza, MD, Wendy Glaberson, MD, Denisse Cristina Pareja Valarezo, MD—Holtz Children’s Hospital, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, USA; Sarah Cashman, BS, Madeleine Stead, BS—University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Jonathan Davis, MD, Julie Nicoletta, MD—Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Alanna DeMello—British Columbia Children’s Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Lynn Dill, RN—University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA; Ellen Guthrie, RN—MetroHealth Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, Nicholas L. Harris, BS, Susan M. Hieber, MSQM—C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Katherine Huang, Rosa Waters—University of Virginia Children’s Hospital, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA; Judd Jacobs, Tara Terrell—Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Nilima Jawale, MD—Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA; Emily Kane—Australian National University, Canberra, Australia; Patricia Mele, DNP—Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, Stony Brook, New York, USA; Charity Njoku, Tennille Paulsen, Sadia Zubair—Texas Children’s Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA; Emily Pao—University of Washington, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle, Washington, USA; Becky Selman, RN, Michele Spear, CCRC—University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA; Melissa Vega, PA-C—The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, Bronx, New York, USA; Leslie Walther RN—Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

Funding sources

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Center for Acute Care Nephrology provided funding to create and maintain the AWAKEN Medidata Rave electronic database. The Pediatric and Infant Center for Acute Nephrology (PICAN) provided support for web meetings, for the NKC steering committee annual meeting at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), and support for some of the AWAKEN investigators at UAB (LBJ, RJG). PICAN is part of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and is funded by Children’s of Alabama Hospital, the Department of Pediatrics, UAB School of Medicine, and UAB’s Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences (CCTS, NIH grant UL1TR001417). Finally, the AWAKEN study at the University of New Mexico was supported by the Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC, NIH grant UL1TR001449) and by the University of Iowa Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (U54TR001356). AWAKEN investigators at the Canberra Hospital were supported by the Canberra Hospital Private Practice fund, and investigators at University of Virginia Children’s Hospital were supported by a 100 Women Who Care Grant (100 Women Charitable Foundation, CA, USA).

Compliance with ethical standards

Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval was obtained at each participating site with a waiver of informed consent.

Conflict of interest

All authors declare no real or perceived conflicts of interest that could affect the study design, collection, analysis and interpretation of data, writing of the report, or the decision to submit for publication. Funding sources for this study had no role in study design, data collection, data analysis, data interpretation, or writing of the report.

For full disclosure, we provide here an additional list of other author’s commitments and funding sources that are not directly related to this study: David J Askenazi serves on the speaker board for Baxter (Baxter, USA) and the Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) Foundation (Cincinnati, OH, USA); he also receives grant funding for studies not related to this manuscript from the National Institutes of Health-the National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIH-NIDDK, R01 DK103608, and NIH-FDA (R01 FD005092). Danielle E. Soranno also receives grant funding for studies not related to this manuscript from the National Institutes of Health-the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 1K08DK109226-01A1.


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Copyright information

© IPNA 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Megan J. Kirkley
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Louis Boohaker
    • 3
  • Russell Griffin
    • 4
  • Danielle E. Soranno
    • 5
  • Jason Gien
    • 1
  • David Askenazi
    • 6
  • Katja M. Gist
    • 7
  • On behalf of the Neonatal Kidney Collaborative (NKC)
  1. 1.Section of Neonatology, Department of PediatricsUniversity of ColoradoAuroraUSA
  2. 2.University of ColoradoAuroraUSA
  3. 3.Pediatric and Infant Center for Acute NephrologyUniversity of AlabamaBirminghamUSA
  4. 4.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of AlabamaBirminghamUSA
  5. 5.Section of Nephrology, Department of PediatricsUniversity of ColoradoAuroraUSA
  6. 6.Pediatric and Infant Center for Acute Nephrology, Department of PediatricsUniversity of AlabamaBirminghamUSA
  7. 7.Section of Pediatric Cardiology, Department of PediatricsUniversity of ColoradoAuroraUSA

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