What is xanthogranulomatous pyelonephritis?

Updated: Jul 01, 2021
  • Author: Tibor Fulop, MD, PhD, FACP, FASN; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Xanthogranulomatous pyelonephritis is a rare form of pyelonephritis that is almost always associated with chronic obstruction (eg, from staghorn calculus [75% of cases], other calculus, stricture, or tumor). In adults, the female-to-male ratio is 3:1; in children, it is 1.1:1. It is a chronic infection that finally manifests acutely with fever and flank pain or tenderness, and it may be complicated by a flank mass, cutaneous fistula, septic arthritis, or hematochezia if extension has occurred beyond the renal capsule. Kidney function is absent (71%) or poor (25%) in almost all cases. Diagnosis is difficult preoperatively.

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