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Use of height-independent baseline creatinine imputation method with renal angina index



The Renal Angina Index (RAI) is a validated screening tool used at 12 h of pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admission to predict severe acute kidney injury (AKI) on day 3 of PICU stay. A measured or height-imputed baseline serum creatinine (SCr) is required for AKI diagnosis and RAI calculation, yet these are often lacking. We assessed an age-based, height-independent baseline SCr calculation and compared the RAI values employing this method to their historical counterpart.


An electronic algorithm was implemented to generate RAI score for patients admitted to our PICU. We reviewed 157 consecutive patient records from May 2017, until we cumulated 100 with a valid RAI calculation. We compared RAI scores using the age-based SCr imputation method of Pottel to the historical RAI. Our primary outcome was a difference in the rate of RAI fulfillment (≥ 8) reclassification between methods.


Of the first 100 patients, 27 had measured baseline SCr and 73 used height imputation. Only two patients had RAI reclassified with the Pottel method (one in each direction). Being small for age or older were associated with ≥ 25% overestimation of the baseline SCr in 20 patients with the Pottel method compared with height imputation. 15/157 patients had a falsely positive RAI due to lack of measured baseline SCr and height.


The age-based method to estimate baseline SCr offers a viable height-independent alternative for RAI calculation. While less precise than a height-based approach, this lack of precision rarely leads to reclassification of patient RAI status.

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This work was supported by the National Institutes of Diabetic, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (P50DK096418-06) and a Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Innovation Fund Award.

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Correspondence to Jean-Philippe Roy.

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Roy, JP., Johnson, C., Towne, B. et al. Use of height-independent baseline creatinine imputation method with renal angina index. Pediatr Nephrol 34, 1777–1784 (2019).

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