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Pediatr Res. 2011 Aug;70(2):203-7. doi: 10.1038/pr.2011.428.

Urinary nitrate might be an early biomarker for pediatric acute kidney injury in the emergency department.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Texas Children's Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


NO is involved in normal kidney function and perturbed in acute kidney injury (AKI). We hypothesized that urinary concentration of NO metabolites, nitrite, and nitrate would be lower in children with early AKI presenting to the emergency department (ED), when serum creatinine (SCr) was uninformative. Patients up to 19 y were recruited if they had a urinalysis and SCr obtained for routine care. Primary outcome, AKI, was defined by pediatric Risk, Injury, Failure, Loss of function, End-stage renal disease (pRIFLE) criteria. Urinary nitrite and nitrate were determined by HPLC. A total of 252 patients were enrolled, the majority (93%) of whom were without AKI. Although 18 (7%) had AKI by pRIFLE, 50% may not have had it identified by the SCr value alone at the time of visit. Median urinary nitrate was lower for injury versus risk (p = 0.03); this difference remained significant when the injury group was compared against the combined risk and no AKI groups (p = 0.01). Urinary nitrite was not significantly different between groups. Thus, low urinary nitrate is associated with AKI in the pediatric ED even when SCr is normal. Predictive potential of this putative urinary biomarker for AKI needs further evaluation in sicker patients.

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