Jornal de Pediatria
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Objective: In previous studies, smaller renal volumes were reported in prematurely born infants, however, these renal volumes were not corrected for body surface area, the main determinant of renal size. Given the rapid growth of the renal cortex after premature birth, the authors hypothesized that corrected volumes would not differ from healthy controls. Methods: Ambispective cohort study with prospective follow-up of prematurely born babies in a large specialized center and retrospectively recruited healthy control group. Children were assessed for renal length and renal volumes at age 5 by three independent ultrasonographers. Detailed anthropometry, blood pressure and renal function were also obtained. Age independent z-scores were calculated for all parameters and compared using descriptive statistics. Results: Eighty-nine premature study participants (median 32 weeks gestational age) and 33 healthy controls (median 38 weeks gestational age) were studied. Study participants did not differ in age, sex, Afro-Colombian descent, height, blood pressure, serum creatinine, or new Schwartz eGFR. Premature study participants had a significantly lower weight (17.65 ± 2.93 kg) than controls (19.05 ± 2.81 kg, p = 0.0072) and lower body surface area. The right renal volumes were significantly smaller (39.4 vs 43.4 mL), but after correction for body surface area, the renal volume and renal length z-scores were identical for both kidneys (mean right kidney -0.707 vs -0.507; mean left kidney -0.498 vs -0.524, respectively). Conclusion: Renal volumes need to be corrected to body surface area. After correction for body surface area, 5-year-old healthy and prematurely born children have comparable renal volumes.