Pediatric nephrologist Shireen Hashmat, MD, has observed that neonates with acute kidney injury (AKI) often go undiagnosed and fail to receive the long-term care needed to prevent chronic kidney disease (CKD) later in life.
She says, “The number of preemies who survive and live into adulthood has grown dramatically over the last few decades. We need to identify those with AKI, and follow and treat them over the long term to reduce their risk of CKD.”
Hashmat, resident Vidya Mahavadi, MD, and neonatologist Joseph Hageman, MD, are studying the charts of 1,500 patients born between 2012 and 2014 to identify neonatal intensive care unit graduates with a history of AKI who still receive care at Comer Children’s. These children’s primary care physicians will be asked to perform recommended tests, including a kidney function test, and to refer those patients with abnormal results to a nephrologist. In the nephrology clinic, the patients will be evaluated using kidney ultrasound, echocardiogram and urine studies, and treated based on the test results.
“Chronic kidney disease may be preventable if all neonates identified with an AKI episode are evaluated for kidney disease after discharge from the hospital and are followed over the long term,” Hashmat says.