A review of published studies shows children with chronic kidney disease may have lower intellectual function compared with children in the general population. When compared to children with mild to moderate stage kidney disease and with those who have a kidney transplant, children with end-stage renal disease on dialysis had the lowest IQ scores for testing in academic skills related to mathematics, reading and spelling.

“In translating our findings to clinical practice, this research provides relevant information on the areas of need — for example, working memory and mathematics — for which children with [chronic kidney disease] CKD may need guidance, practice and assistance, particularly for children on dialysis,” study co-author Kerry Chen, MBBS, of the Centre for Kidney Research at the University of Sydney in Australia, said. “It also suggests hypotheses for why the overall intellectual and educational outcomes of children with CKD are reduced compared with the general population, and how best to prevent deficits.”

The findings, which will appear in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, come from an analysis of studies published through 2016. Chen and her colleagues examined all published evidence on cognitive and academic outcomes in children and adolescents with CKD. Their analysis included 34 studies with more than 3,000 patients younger than the age of 21 years with CKD.

The global cognition IQ of children with CKD was classified as low average. Compared with the general population, the average differences in IQ were -10.5 for all CKD stages; -9.39 for patients with mild to moderate stage CKD; -11.2 for patients who underwent kidney transplantation; and -16.2 for patients on dialysis. Direct comparisons showed children with mild to moderate stage CKD and those who received kidney transplants scored 11.2 and 10.1 IQ points higher, respectively, than children on dialysis. – by Mark E. Neumann


Disclosures: The authors reported no relevant financial disclosures.