Short-term survival of hyperammonemic neonates treated with dialysis

Stefano Picca, Carlo Dionisi-Vici, Andrea Bartuli, Tommaso De Palo, Francesco Papadia, Giovanni Montini, Marco Materassi, Maria Alice Donati, Enrico Verrina, Maria Cristina Schiaffino, Carmine Pecoraro, Emilia Iaccarino, Enrico Vidal, Alberto Burlina, Francesco Emma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: In severe neonatal hyperammonemia, extracorporeal dialysis (ECD) provides higher ammonium clearance than peritoneal dialysis (PD). However, there are limited outcome data in relation to dialysis modality.

Methods: Data from infants with hyperammonemia secondary to inborn errors of metabolism (IEM) treated with dialysis were collected in six Italian centers and retrospectively analyzed.

Results: Forty-five neonates born between 1990 and 2011 were enrolled in the study. Of these, 23 were treated with PD and 22 with ECD (14 with continuous venovenous hemodialysis [CVVHD], 5 with continuous arteriovenous hemodialysis [CAVHD], 3 with hemodialysis [HD]). Patients treated with PD experienced a shorter duration of predialysis coma, while those treated with HD had a shorter ammonium decay time compared with all the other patients (p <0.05). No difference in ammonium reduction rate was observed between patients treated with PD, CAVHD or CVVHD. Carbamoyl phosphate synthetase deficiency (CPS) was significantly associated with increased risk of death (OR: 9.37 [1.52–57.6], p = 0.016). Predialysis ammonium levels were significantly associated with a composite end-point of death or neurological sequelae (adjusted OR: 1.13 [1.02–1.27] per 100 μmol/l, p = 0.026). No association was found between outcome and dialysis modality.

Conclusions: In this study, a delayed ECD treatment was not superior to PD in improving the short-term outcome of neonates with hyperammonemia secondary to IEM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)839-847
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Nephrology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2015


  • Continuous venovenous hemodialysis
  • Inborn errors of metabolism
  • Neonatal hyperammonemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Medicine(all)

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  • Cite this

    Picca, S., Dionisi-Vici, C., Bartuli, A., De Palo, T., Papadia, F., Montini, G., Materassi, M., Donati, M. A., Verrina, E., Schiaffino, M. C., Pecoraro, C., Iaccarino, E., Vidal, E., Burlina, A., & Emma, F. (2015). Short-term survival of hyperammonemic neonates treated with dialysis. Pediatric Nephrology, 30(5), 839-847.