Current Treatment Options in Pediatrics

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 425–437 | Cite as

Diagnosis of Acute Kidney Injury in Neonates: Can Urinary Biomarkers Help?

  • A. Dyson
  • A. L. KentEmail author
Nephrology - Neonatal AKI (D Askenazi, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Nephrology - Neonatal AKI


Purpose of review

Diagnosing acute kidney injury (AKI) in a diverse population of newborns is challenging. Current definitions of AKI focus on changes in serum creatinine and urine output both of which are subject to maturational and physiological change in newborn populations. Changes in serum creatinine reflect a significant loss of renal function and are a late marker of AKI. This article summarises the current literature related to the use of urinary biomarkers for diagnosing AKI in newborn populations.

Recent findings

There is a growing body of evidence that supports the use of novel urinary biomarkers for both diagnosing and predicting the occurrence of neonatal AKI. The possibility of an earlier, pre-clinical diagnosis of kidney damage affords opportunities for researchers and clinicians to develop strategies aimed at reducing the severity of kidney injury.


Future definitions of AKI will likely incorporate these non-invasive and early markers of kidney injury as either adjuncts or alternatives to measures of the change in kidney function (i.e. serum creatinine). Further research needs to demonstrate a relationship between AKI diagnosed using novel biomarkers and important long-term adverse clinical outcomes such as hypertension and/or chronic kidney disease. In addition, studies which use urine biomarkers criteria to enrol infants that show improved process of care or important clinical outcomes will be needed before they are adapted into clinical care.


Newborn AKI Urinary biomarkers 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Amanda Dyson declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Alison L. Kent declares that she has 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

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, Canberra Hospital Department of NeonatologyWodenAustralia
  2. 2.Golisano Children’s HospitalUniversity of Rochester School of Medicine and DentistryRochesterUSA
  3. 3.Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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