What is the prevalence of renal scarring in children with 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

In children, kidney scarring can be detected in 6-15% after a febrile UTI. Of these patients, almost all males and some females have demonstrable kidney scarring and a globally small kidney with smooth renal outlines in infancy, usually associated with vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) and thought to be congenital. Most female infants do not have demonstrable scarring on initial imaging, but they subsequently develop it. Delay in treatment of cystitis or pyelonephritis, recurrent UTIs, urinary obstruction, and VUR increase the risk of scarring. In children, normal ultrasonogram findings alone cannot reliably rule out the presence of either reflux or kidney scarring. [12]


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