Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is a leading cause of acute renal failure (ARF) in children, and one for which treatment with peritoneal dialysis (PD) is often necessary. Between January 1982 and December 1996, 176 children received PD for ARF at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children; 34 (19%) of whom had HUS. Of these 34, 7 (20%) developed pleural effusions (PE) while receiving PD, whereas none of the remaining 142 children with other causes of ARF did so. The mean age of the 7 affected children was 5.2 (range 0.4-17) years; none had heart failure or nephrotic syndrome, nor had any of them undergone thoracic surgery. PE were diagnosed by chest radiograph at an interval of 2 (range 1-3) days after starting PD. Thereafter, 4 (57%) patients were successfully maintained on a modified PD prescription; 2 others were converted to hemodialysis and 1 to continuous venovenous hemodiafiltration. Although PE are a known complication of PD, none of the patients so treated for non-HUS related ARF developed them. Whether they represent a purely mechanical complication of PD, or are in some way attributable to HUS itself, is not entirely clear. Regardless, when children with HUS require PD, physicians should monitor for the development of this potential complication to minimize the risk of serious respiratory compromise.
- Hemolytic uremic syndrome
- Peritoneal dialysis
- Pleural effusion
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health