What is acute pyelonephritis (kidney infection)?

Updated: Jul 01, 2021
  • Author: Tibor Fulop, MD, PhD, FACP, FASN; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Answer

Acute pyelonephritis is a bacterial infection of the kidney parenchyma that can be organ- and/or life-threatening and that often leads to scarring of the kidney. The bacteria in these cases have usually ascended from the lower urinary tract, but may also reach the kidney via the bloodstream. Timely diagnosis and management of acute pyelonephritis has a significant impact on patient outcomes. [1, 2]  See the image below.

Multiple abscesses, upper pole of left kidney. Multiple abscesses, upper pole of left kidney.

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