Management of pediatric blunt renal trauma: A systematic review

Elyse LeeVan, Osnat Zmora, Francesca Cazzulino, Rita V. Burke, Jessica Zagory, Jeffrey Scott Upperman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Blunt trauma remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the pediatric population. The use of conservative management for blunt renal trauma is widely accepted in adult trauma literature and is now increasingly accepted for use in the pediatric patient population. This study aimed to review current practices in pediatric blunt renal trauma management and to highlight current practices in conservative protocols, success rates of conservative management strategies, as well as short-and long-term outcomes of blunt renal trauma management. METHODS: This is a systematic review of PubMed, Ovid, and the Cochrane Library. The following search was performed in each of the three databases: (Renal or Kidney) AND (Pediatric or Children) AND Trauma AND Management. Publications were limited to publish date after January 1, 2000. Inclusion criteria were (1) original research articles regarding management of pediatric blunt renal trauma, (2) involvement of cases of high-grade renal (Grades IVand V) trauma, and (3) more than one patient presented per study. Literature reviews and meta-analyses were excluded. RESULTS: Titles and abstracts (n = 308) were screened to identify scientific articles reporting original research findings. A total of 32 articles met the selection criteria and were included in the review. CONCLUSION: The literature supports application of conservative management protocols to high-grade blunt pediatric renal trauma. Criteria for early operative intervention are not well understood. At this time, emergent operative intervention only for hemodynamic instability is recommended. Minimally invasive interventions including angioembolization, stenting, and percutaneous drainage should be used when indicated. Short-and long-term outcomes are favorable when using conservative management approaches to Grade IV and V renal injuries. Further studies including prospective studies and randomized control trials are necessary. Cost analyses of current treatment protocols are also necessary to guide efficient management strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-528
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Blunt
  • Kidney
  • Pediatric
  • Renal
  • Trauma


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