The diagnosis of renal dysfunction in the neonate can be a challenging problem for the practicing pediatrician. Although there are real differences in renal function between term and preterm infants, overall function is quite adequate in both groups when fluid intake and environmental conditions are carefully controlled. When confronted with an infant with a pathologic decrease in urine output, the clinician must provide adequate fluid resuscitation for the infant with prerenal oliguria without inducing fluid overload in the infant with established, intrinsic renal failure. In addition, the infant with obstruction to urine flow must be distinguished. This requires careful assessment of physical findings and a few key laboratory determinations. Once the diagnosis of renal failure is made, frequent clinical monitoring with anticipation of potential complications is critical. Long-term management of renal failure in infancy and intervention for suspected urinary tract malformation in the fetus have emerged as difficult medical and ethical problems as our technology has advanced.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health