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Objective: Few published reports describe nutrition provision for critically ill children and young adults with acute kidney injury receiving continuous renal replacement therapy. The goals of this study were to describe feeding practices in pediatric continuous renal replacement therapy and to evaluate factors associated with over- and under-prescription of protein and calories.

Design: Retrospective database study.

Setting: Multicenter study in pediatric critical care units.

Patients: Patients with acute kidney injury (estimated glomerular filtration rate <75 mL/min/1.73 m2 at continuous renal replacement therapy initiation) enrolled in the Prospective Pediatric Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy Registry.

Interventions: None.

Measurements: Nutrition variables: initial and maximal protein (g/kg/day) and caloric (kcal/kg/day) prescription and predicted resting energy expenditure (kcal/kg/day). We determined factors predicting initial and maximal protein and caloric prescription by multivariate analysis.

Results: One hundred ninety-five patients (median [interquartile range] age = 8.1 [12.8] yrs, 56.9% men) were studied. Mean protein and caloric prescriptions at continuous renal replacement therapy initiation were 1.3 /- 1.5 g/kg/day (median, 1.0; range, 0-10) and 37 /- 27 kcal/kg/day (median, 32; range, 0-107). Mean maximal protein and caloric prescriptions during continuous renal replacement therapy were 2.0 /- 1.5 g/kg/day (median, 1.7; range, 0-12) and 48 /- 32 kcal/kg/day (median, 43; range, 0-117). Thirty-four percent of patients were initially prescribed <1 g/kg/day protein; 23% never attained >1 g/kg/day protein prescription. By continuous renal replacement therapy day 5, median protein prescribed was >2 g/kg/day. Protein prescription practices differed substantially between medical centers with 5 of 10 centers achieving maximal protein prescription of >2 g/kg/day in >=40% of patients. Caloric prescription exceeded predicted resting energy expenditure by 30%-100%. Factors independently associated with maximal protein and caloric prescription while on continuous renal replacement therapy were younger age, initial protein and caloric prescription and number of continuous renal replacement therapy treatment days (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: Protein prescription in pediatric continuous renal replacement therapy may be inadequate. Inter-center variation exists with respect to nutrition prescription. Feeding practice standardization and research in pediatric acute kidney injury nutrition are essential to begin providing evidence-based feeding recommendations.

(C) 2008 by the Society of Critical Care Medicine and Lippincott Williams & Wilkins