Evaluating kidney function using a point-of-care creatinine test in Ugandan children with severe malaria: a prospective cohort study

Document Type



Background: Acute kidney injury (AKI) disproportionately affects individuals in low-and middle-income countries (LMIC). However, LMIC—particularly countries in sub-Saharan Africa— are under-represented in global AKI research. A critical barrier in diagnosing AKI is access to reliable serum creatinine results. We evaluated the utility of a point-of-care test to measure creatinine and diagnose AKI in Ugandan children with malaria.

Methods: Paired admission creatinine was assessed in 539 Ugandan children 6 months to 4 years of age hospitalized with severe malaria based on blood smear or rapid diagnostic test. Creatinine levels were measured using isotope dilution mass spectrometry (IDMS)-traceable methods. The reference creatinine was measured using the modified Jaffe method by a certified laboratory and the point-of-care testing was conducted using an i-STAT blood analyzer (i-STAT1, with and without adjustment for the partial pressure of carbon dioxide). AKI was defined and staged using the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes criteria.

Results: The mean age of children was 2.1 years, and 21.6% of children were stunted. Mortality was 7.6% in-hospital. Over the entire range of measured creatinine values (<0.20mg/dL-8.4mg/dL), the correlation between the reference creatinine and adjusted and unadjusted point-of-care creatinine was high with R2 values of 0.95 and 0.93 respectively; however, the correlation was significantly lower in children with creatinine values <1mg/dL (R2 of 0.44 between the reference and adjusted and unadjusted i-STAT creatinine). The prevalence of AKI was 45.5% using the reference creatinine, and 27.1 and 32.3% using the unadjusted and adjusted point-of-care creatinine values, respectively. There was a step-wise increase in mortality across AKI stages, and all methods were strongly associated with mortality (p

Conclusions: Point-of-care assessment of creatinine in lean Ugandan childrenglobally.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

BioMed Central

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.