What is the role of imaging studies in the diagnosis 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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Imaging studies may be required to make the diagnosis in infants and children in whom pyelonephritis presents insidiously. Imaging studies are rarely indicated for the diagnosis of acute pyelonephritis in an adult who presents with typical signs and symptoms, but they may be warranted if the presentation is atypical or confusing. Imaging is also warranted if the patient deteriorates or does not respond to therapy, in which case the important considerations are nephrolithiasis, obstructive uropathy, and perinephric abscess.

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