Project 1

A Trial of Near Infra-red Spectroscopy (NIRS) to monitor Renal Vascular Flow in Real Time in Paediatric Intensive Care Patients

Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) is increasingly common among critically ill children and carries a significant risk of long-term ill health and even death. One in four of children admitted to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) was found to have suffered some degree of AKI in our recent study. The earlier AKI is diagnosed the better, to allow the medical staff to take steps, such as dialysis, to reduce kidney damage. Recently, researchers in the field proposed a system for early diagnosis of AKI in children, using clinical information, new biomarkers in blood and urine, and a measure of blood flow through the kidneys. Kidneys for Life previously supported our research enabling a feasibility study in which we successfully measured these new biomarkers in the children in PICU. The current award will make it possible to trial a monitor called an oximeter, (currently used in small babies to measure blood flow through the brain), that will allow real time monitoring of renal blood flow through the kidneys. The oximeter is not invasive, as the leads attach the skin, rather like a heart monitor. This will enable us to investigate whether changes in kidney blood flow, together with changes in the biomarkers, will allow earlier diagnosis of children on PICU who are at higher risk of AKI.