What are the signs and symptoms of 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

The classic presentation in patients with acute pyelonephritis is as follows:

  • Fever - This is not always present, but when it is, the temperature often exceeds 103°F (39.4°C)
  • Costovertebral angle pain - Pain may be mild, moderate, or severe; flank or costovertebral angle tenderness is most commonly unilateral over the involved kidney, although bilateral discomfort may be present
  • Nausea and/or vomiting - These vary in frequency and intensity, from absent to severe; anorexia is common in patients with acute pyelonephritis

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