Age- and sex-specific reference nomograms for intraoperative blood pressure have been published, but they do not identify harm thresholds. The authors therefore assessed the relationship between various absolute and relative characterizations of hypotension and acute kidney injury in children having noncardiac surgery.

The authors conducted a retrospective cohort study using electronic data from two tertiary care centers. They included inpatients 18 yr or younger who had noncardiac surgery with general anesthesia. Postoperative renal injury was defined using the Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes definitions, based on serum creatinine concentrations. The authors evaluated potential renal harm thresholds for absolute lowest intraoperative mean arterial pressure (MAP) or largest MAP reduction from baseline maintained for a cumulative period of 5 min. Separate analyses were performed in children aged 2 yr or younger, 2 to 6 yr, 6 to 12 yr, and 12 to 18 yr.


Among 64,412 children who had noncardiac surgery, 4,506 had creatinine assessed preoperatively and postoperatively. The incidence of acute kidney injury in this population was 11% (499 of 4,506): 17% in children under 6 yr old, 11% in children 6 to 12 yr old, and 6% in adolescents, which is similar to the incidence reported in adults. There was no association between lowest cumulative MAP sustained for 5 min and postoperative kidney injury. Similarly, there was no association between largest cumulative percentage MAP reduction and postoperative kidney injury. The adjusted estimated odds for kidney injury was 0.99 (95% CI, 0.94 to 1.05) for each 5-mmHg decrease in lowest MAP and 1.00 (95% CI, 0.97 to 1.03) for each 5% decrease in largest MAP reduction from baseline.


In distinct contrast to adults, the authors did not find any association between intraoperative hypotension and postoperative renal injury. Avoiding short periods of hypotension should not be the clinician’s primary concern when trying to prevent intraoperative renal injury in pediatric patients.

Editor’s Perspective
What We Already Know about This Topic
  • Intraoperative hypotension is associated with acute kidney injury in adults having noncardiac surgery
  • In children, there are no data defining the association between hypotension and kidney injury
What This Article Tells Us That Is New
  • In a large cohort of pediatric surgical patients in whom creatinine concentrations were measured preoperatively and postoperatively, there was no association between lowest mean arterial pressure and acute kidney injury
  • There was also no association between largest percentage reduction in mean arterial pressure and acute kidney injury