Acute Kidney Injury in Pediatric Acute SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C): Is There a Difference?

Manpreet K. Grewal, Melissa J. Gregory, Amrish Jain, Dunya Mohammad, Katherine Cashen, Jocelyn Y. Ang, Ronald L. Thomas, Rudolph P. Valentini

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6 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the prevalence and factors associated with the risk of acute kidney injury (AKI) in pediatric patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). Study Design: We performed a retrospective chart review of 113 patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection with or without MIS-C admitted at Children's Hospital of Michigan (CHM) from March to August 2020. Patient demographic details, laboratory data, imaging studies, echocardiography reports, and treatment data were collected. Results: Of the 92 patients included in the final analysis, 22 (24%) developed AKI with 8/22 (36%) developing stage 3 AKI. The prevalence of AKI was much higher in patients with MIS-C 15/28 (54%) vs. those with acute SARS-CoV-2 infection 7/64 (11%), (p < 0.001). Overall, when compared to patients without AKI, patients with AKI were older in age (11 vs. 6.5 years, p = 0.007), African American (86 vs. 58%, p = 0.028), had MIS-C diagnosis (68 vs. 19%, p < 0.001), required ICU admission (91 vs. 20%, p < 0.001), had cardiac dysfunction (63 vs. 16%, p < 0.001), required inotropic support (59 vs. 6%, p < 0.001) and had a greater elevation in inflammatory markers. In a multivariate analysis, requirement of inotropes [Odds Ratio (OR)−22.8, p < 0.001], African American race (OR-8.8, p = 0.023) and MIS-C diagnosis (OR-5.3, p = 0.013) were the most significant predictors for AKI. All patients had recovery of kidney function, and none required kidney replacement therapy. Conclusion: Children with acute SARS-CoV-2 infection and MIS-C are at risk for AKI, with the risk being significantly greater with MIS-C. The pathogenesis of AKI in acute SARS-CoV-2 infection appears to be a combination of both renal hypo-perfusion and direct renal parenchymal damage whereas in MIS-C, the renal injury appears to be predominantly pre-renal from cardiac dysfunction and capillary leak from a hyperinflammatory state. These factors should be considered by clinicians caring for these children with a special focus on renal protective strategies to aid in recovery and prevent additional injury to this high-risk subgroup.

Original languageEnglish
Article number692256
JournalFrontiers in Pediatrics
StatePublished - Aug 9 2021


  • COVID-19
  • acute kidney injury
  • multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children
  • pathophysiology
  • risk factors


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