Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is the preferred mode of kidney replacement therapy (KRT) in infants and young children with kidney failure. Hemodialysis (HD) is used less often due to the technical challenges and risk of complications in smaller patients. There are limited data on chronic HD in this patient population.
This was a retrospective study of children younger than 24 months on HD and PD in the North American Pediatric Renal Trials and Collaborative Studies (NAPRTCS) registry between January 1992 and December 2018. We compared demographic, clinical, and laboratory data and outcomes, including patient survival and kidney transplantation.
We identified 1125 infants and toddlers younger than 2 years of age who initiated KRT from January 1992 to December 2018. Of those, 1011 (89.8%) initiated peritoneal dialysis and 114 (10.2%) initiated hemodialysis. Median (IQR) age at HD onset was 12 (5.6-18.7) months compared to 4.6 (0.8-11.7) months at PD onset (p < 0.001). The primary cause of kidney failure with replacement therapy was congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (56.2% of PD versus 39.5% of HD group). Patients on HD had superior growth and nutrition markers than those on PD. Patient survival was similar between the two groups.
While HD may not be the modality of choice for chronic KRT in younger children, 10% of children younger than 24 months of age receive maintenance HD and the numbers have increased over time. Patient survival on dialysis is similar irrespective of dialysis modality. A higher resolution version of the Graphical abstract is available as Supplementary information.

© 2021. This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply.