Acute kidney injury in pediatric toxic shock syndrome is associated with worse clinical course in the intensive care unit

Avichai Weissbach, Eytan Kaplan, Gili Kadmon, Yulia Gendler, Elhanan Nahum, Barak Meidan, Shirley Friedman, Efraim Sadot, Itay Ayalon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To explore the prevalence, severity, nature, and significance of acute kidney injury (AKI) among children admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) with toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Bi-center, retrospective observational study. Children admitted for TSS to two intensive care units from 2009–2022 were included. We identified 41 children (median age 5 years, 46% females) who met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) definitions of TSS. Staphylococcal TSS accounted for 63% of the patients and Streptococcal TSS accounted for the remaining 37%. AKI was diagnosed in 24 (59%) (stage 1: n = 6 [15% of total], stage 2: n = 10 [24%], and stage 3: n = 8 [20%]). The worst creatinine level was measured during the first day of admission in 34 (83%) patients. The median duration of AKI was 2 days. Creatinine normalized by hospital discharge in all cases. Patients with AKI had a longer intensive care unit stay than those without AKI (6 vs. 3 days, respectively, p = 0.01), needed more respiratory support (87% vs. 47%, p = 0.002), had fewer 28 ventilation-free days (25 vs. 28, p = 0.01), fewer vasopressor-free days (25 vs. 28, p = 0.001), and received more blood products (p = 0.03). Conclusion: Children admitted to the PICU with TSS, show a high prevalence of AKI at presentation. Creatinine levels and clearance normalize by hospital discharge in most cases. AKI in the setting of TSS could be used as an early marker for illness severity and a predictor of a more complex course. What is Known: • TSS is characterized according to the CDC by specific sets of clinical signs and symptoms in conjunction with specific laboratory findings one of which is AKI. • AKI is associated with worse outcomes in critically ill patients in general and in septic patients in particular. What is New: • AKI is found in about 60% of all patients admitted to the PICU with a diagnosis of TSS and hence is an important defining criteria. • AKI in the setting of TSS is associated with a more complex illness course and can serve as an early marker predicting such a course.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4253-4261
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • Acute Kidney Injury
  • Pediatric Intensive Care
  • Shock
  • Toxic Shock Syndrome

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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