Friday, September 28, 2012
More than 300 scientists and clinical experts from at least 26 countries and 34 states will converge on Cincinnati Sept. 27-30 for the first International Symposium on Acute Kidney Injury in Children.
Acute kidney injury (AKI) may not be covered in the media as much as other diseases, but it is common and often deadly. AKI occurs in 20 percent of all patients in the ICU and 80 percent of the sickest patients. In fact, it is one of the most important predictors of death in critically ill patients. Moreover, diagnosing AKI and determining when to initiate treatment are controversial topics.
The conference will take place as part of the seventh International Conference on Pediatric Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CRRT).
The AKI conference will review the state of the art in both clinical care and research. In addition, there will be a hands-on simulation center workshop for provision of CRRT to children.
The faculty is composed of international, national and local experts in AKI. The meeting is sponsored by the Cincinnati Children’s Heart Institute, Research Foundation and Center for Acute Care Nephrology, as well as the Pediatric Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy Foundation
Scientists will present abstracts highlighting new work in pediatric AKI. This will include the latest data on multi-organ (liver, heart and kidney) support, biomarkers in AKI, as well as novel quality improvement research.
The top rated abstract, by Rajit Basu, MD, a physician at Cincinnati Children’s and co-director of the Center for Acute Care Nephrology, provides validation of a system to identify patients upon ICU admission who will have AKI on day three of their ICU stay. His study shows that biomarkers can improve the precision of that prediction.
The Center for Acute Care Nephrology, co-directed by Stuart Goldstein, MD, is a one-of-a-kind resource for children whose health conditions put them at risk of AKI. Once AKI occurs, it may not be reversible and lead to chronic kidney damage. The center works closely with other divisions within Cincinnati Children’s to monitor, detect and treat kidney injury that might occur in children who have heart disease, major surgeries, chemotherapy, sepsis or traumatic accidents.
In collaboration with the division of Nephrology and Hypertension, the Heart Institute, the division of Critical Care Medicine, and with leading institutions throughout the country, the center conducts breakthrough research on the best ways to diagnose and treat acute kidney problems before they lead to permanent damage.
The center is the only one in the world to work with all areas of pediatric critical care, which enables physicians and researchers to closely monitor how children with kidney problems are responding to treatment, make rapid adjustments where needed and ultimately standardize care for the best possible outcomes.
Research conducted by scientists at Cincinnati Children’s associated with the center has shown that biomarkers that can be measured in urine and used to detect AKI earlier than ever before. If approved by the FDA, these biomarkers could help physicians pinpoint timing of kidney injury and initiate therapy earlier.
Until biomarkers are approved, patients like Mira Erdmann can benefit from aggressive intervention. Last fall, when she was 3, Mira came to Cincinnati Children’s for a bone marrow transplant for a rare immune deficiency. But as part of the ultimately successful therapy, she developed an inflammatory response that led to heart and respiratory failure.
Nearly everything was tried to drain accumulating body fluid. But it wasn’t until Dr. Goldstein and Brian Varisco, MD, a critical care physician, came into the picture that things began to improve.
Dr. Goldstein’s years of research in acute care nephrology led to early aggressive treatment of Mira’s acute renal failure. Once Mira developed fluid overload that was 10 percent over her baseline weight, doctors put her on CRRT, which supports kidney function by maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance continuously.
This prevented severe fluid overload that would have worsened the condition of her heart, lungs and other organs. Mira’s mom, Tania Erdmann, believes it was this intervention that saved her daughter’s life.
After five days, Mira’s breathing tube was removed. This Aug. 28, she celebrated her 4th birthday back home in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
While CRRT is often reserved for the sickest patients, many physicians outside of Cincinnati Children’s might still delay treatment for acute kidney injury. The conference is intended to disseminate the value of more aggressive practice to children throughout the world.
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is third in the nation in U.S.News and World Report’s 2012 Best Children’s Hospitals ranking. It is ranked #1 for neonatology and in the top 10 for all pediatric specialties. Cincinnati Children’s is one of the top two recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health. It is internationally recognized for improving child health and transforming delivery of care through fully integrated, globally recognized research, education and innovation. Additional information can be found at www.cincinnatichildrens.org
Jim Feuer, 513-636-4656, firstname.lastname@example.org