Tip 202: assessing neonatal renal function

Serum creatinine levels, a proxy to glomerular filtration rate in neonates, should fall rapidly over the first few days of life, typically 70-90 mmol/litre (reflecting maternal levels) to 30 mmol/litre.

A sustained rise in serum creatinine (or failure to fall) is often indicative of reduced glomerular filtration rate and acute renal impairment.

There is no agreed definition for acute renal failure in the newborn infant.

Reference: Modi, N. “Disorders of the kidney and urinary tract” in Rennie and Roberton’s Textbook of Neonatology 5th edition, Chapter 35, page 928.

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