Hemoglobinuria for the early identification of STEC-HUS in high-risk children: data from the ItalKid-HUS Network.Eur J Pediatr. 2021 Sep; 180(9):2791-2795.EJ
Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) represents one of the main causes of severe acute kidney injury in children. The most frequent form of HUS is caused by Shiga toxin-2 (Stx2)-producing Escherichia coli. Hemoglobinuria and hematuria are markers of glomerular damage, but their use has never been validated in HUS. We retrospectively analyzed the presence of hemoglobinuria/urinary red blood cells (RBCs) in children with Stx2-positive bloody diarrhea (BD) or with already ongoing STEC-HUS with the aim of validating its role in early identifying HUS. We reviewed all the pediatric patients with Stx2+ BD (group 1) and with ongoing HUS (group 2) referred to our center from 2010 to 2019. A total of 100 children were eligible for the study. In group 1, 22 patients showed hemoglobinuria/hematuria, while 41 remained negative. In 15/22 positive patients (68.2%), blood tests ruled in HUS, while in 7 (31.8%), HUS was excluded. Among the 41 patients persistently negative for hemoglobinuria/hematuria, no one developed HUS. The 37 STEC-HUS children (group 2) all had hemoglobinuria/RBCs at admission.