Vesicoureteral Reflux and Urinary Tract Infections in Children
Vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) is the backward flow of urine
from the bladder into the kidneys. Normally, urine flows from the kidneys
through the ureters to the bladder. The muscles of the bladder and ureters and
the pressure of urine in the bladder prevent urine from flowing backward
through the ureters.
Reflux causes an abnormal amount of urine to
remain in the bladder, which makes it easier for bacteria to grow and reach the
kidneys. Vesicoureteral reflux is present in about one-third of children with
urinary tract infections (UTIs).1 It can lead to kidney damage and scarring.
It is possible that the main title of the report Reye Syndrome is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.
Treatment of reflux depends on how bad the problem is.
Mild or moderate vesicoureteral reflux in
children often improves with age. The doctor may prescribe
antibiotics to prevent kidney infections until reflux
is no longer a problem.
When severe reflux is present, reflux has
caused kidney damage, or UTIs continue to occur despite preventive treatment
with antibiotics, the doctor may recommend surgery to correct vesicoureteral
reflux. But surgery may not be any better at preventing future UTIs or kidney damage. And many cases of vesicoureteral reflux get better on their own as a child gets older.2
Tanagho EA, Nguyen HT (2008). Vesicoureteral reflux.
In EA Tanagho, JW McAninch, eds., Smith's General Urology, 17th ed., pp. 179-192. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Larcombe J (2010). Urinary tract infection in children, search date July 2009. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.
Primary Medical Reviewer
Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Avery L. Seifert, MD - Urology
March 10, 2011
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 10, 2011
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