Ylinen E, Salmenlinna S, Halkilahti J, Jahnukainen T, Korhonen L, Virkkala T, Rimhanen-Finne R, Nuutinen M, Kataja J, Arikoski P, Linkosalo L, Bai X, Matussek A, Jalanko H, Saxén H
Pediatr Nephrol 35 (9) 1749-1759 [2020-09-00; online 2020-04-22]
Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is a multisystemic disease. In a nationwide study, we characterized the incidence, clinical course, and prognosis of HUS caused by Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains with emphasis on risk factors, disease severity, and long-term outcome. The data on pediatric HUS patients from 2000 to 2016 were collected from the medical records. STEC isolates from fecal cultures of HUS and non-HUS patients were collected from the same time period and characterized by whole genome sequencing analysis. Fifty-eight out of 262 culture-positive cases developed verified (n = 58, 22%) STEC-HUS. Another 29 cases had probable STEC-HUS, the annual incidence of STEC-HUS being 0.5 per 100,000 children. Eleven different serogroups were detected, O157 being the most common (n = 37, 66%). Age under 3 years (OR 2.4), stx2 (OR 9.7), and stx2a (OR 16.6) were found to be risk factors for HUS. Fifty-five patients (63%) needed dialysis. Twenty-nine patients (33%) developed major neurological symptoms. Complete renal recovery was observed in 57 patients after a median 4.0 years of follow-up. Age under 3 years, leukocyte count over 20 × 109/L, and need for dialysis were predictive factors for poor renal outcome. Age under 3 years, stx2, and stx2a were risk factors for HUS in STEC-positive children. However, serogroup or stx types did not predict the renal outcome or major CNS symptoms.