Background: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a serious problem in critically ill children. It is associated with poor treatment outcomes and a high rate of morbidity and mortality. Globally, one in three critically ill admitted children suffer from acute kidney injury. However, limited data are available in Africa, particularly in Ethiopia, highlighting the risk factors related to acute kidney injury. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the risk factors associated with acute kidney injury among critically ill children admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit at the Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Methods: A facility-based unmatched case-control study was carried out on 253 (85 cases and 168 controls) children admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit from January 2011 to December 2021. Participants were selected using a systematic random sampling technique for the control group and all cases consecutively. Data were collected using a structured checklist. Data were entered using Epi data version 4.6 and analyzed using SPSS version 25. Multivariate analysis was carried out using the adjusted odds ratio (AOR) with a 95% confidence interval (CI) to identify associated factors with acute kidney injury. Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05.
Results: The median age of the participants was two years. About 55.6 % of cases and 53.1% of controls were females. The diagnosis of hypertension (AOR= 5.36; 95% CI: 2.06- 13.93)], shock (AOR=3.88, 95% CI: 1.85- 8.12), exposure to nephrotoxic drugs (AOR=4.09; 95% CI: 1. 45- 11.59), sepsis or infection AOR=3.36; 95% CI: 1.42-7.99), nephritic syndrome (AOR=2.97; 95% CI :1.19, 7.43), and mechanical ventilation AOR=2.25, 95% CI: 1.12, 4.51) were significantly associated with acute kidney injury.
Conclusion: In this study, the diagnosis of sepsis or infection, hypertension, shock, nephrotoxic drugs, demand for mechanical ventilation support, and nephritic syndrome increased the risk of AKI among critically ill children. Multiple risk factors for AKI are associated with illness and its severity. All measures that ensure adequate renal perfusion must be taken in children with identified risk factors to avoid the development of AKI.