Current Treatment Options in Pediatrics

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 78–92 | Cite as

Chronic Kidney Disease: Treatment of Comorbidities I (Nutrition, Growth, Neurocognitive Function, and Mineral Bone Disease)

  • Amy J. Kogon
  • Lyndsay A. HarshmanEmail author
Pediatric Nephrology (BP Dixon and E Nehus, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Pediatric Nephrology


Purpose of review

This review discusses the complications of nutrition, growth, neurocognitive function, and mineral and bone disorder in pediatric chronic kidney disease. We discuss the most recent evidence-based methods for evaluation and prevention of these complications in addition to treatment strategies to address the complications and mitigate adverse effects.

Recent findings

Frequent nutritional assessment is important, particularly for infants and young children. Due to anorexia, oral aversion, and dietary restrictions, weight gain may be difficult to achieve. Adequate nutrition is important for growth. Children with CKD tend to be short, which can impact quality of life and social achievements. Once nutrition is optimized, growth hormone is an effective, but underutilized strategy to improving terminal height. Mineral and bone disorder is a difficult but common complication of CKD which may present with and be driven by abnormalities in calcium, phosphorus, and parathyroid hormone levels. Treatment strategies include dietary phosphorus restriction, phosphorus binders, and inactive vitamin D and active vitamin D sterols. Effective treatment may reduce the risk for bone deformities, growth abnormalities, fractures, cardiovascular disease, and mortality. Children with CKD also suffer from cognitive difficulties. Control of anemia, aggressive childhood nutrition, and decreased exposure to heavy metals (via dialysate and dietary binding agents) has provided substantial improvement to the more profound neurocognitive sequelae observed prior to the 1990s. Current prevention of cognitive sequelae may best be directed at improved blood pressure control and augmented school support.


Pediatric CKD has systemic ramifications and can impact all aspects of normal development, including nutrition, growth, bone and mineral metabolism, and neurocognitive function. Regular evaluation for disease complications and prompt treatment can reduce the untoward effects of CKD thereby improving the quality and duration of life.


Chronic kidney disease Nutrition Acidosis Recombinant growth hormone Cognition 


Funding Source

Dr. Harshman is funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (1K23DK110443).

Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict Of Interest

Amy J. Kogon and Lyndsay A. Harshman declare no conflict of interest.

Human and animal rights and informed consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

References and Recommended Reading

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of NephrologyChildren’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsPerelman School of Medicine at the University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Division of Pediatric NephrologyUniversity of Iowa Stead Family Department of PediatricsIowa CityUSA

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