Imaging the urinary tract in children with urinary tract infection


Annukka Hannula, M.D., Department of Paediatrics, University of Oulu, BOX 5000, FIN-90014 Oulu, Finland.
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Aim:  To evaluate whether ultrasonography (US) alone is sufficient in imaging the urinary tract in 1185 children with urinary tract infection (UTI).

Methods:  The reports on US and voiding cystourethrography (VCUG) were reviewed.

Results:  Initial US was normal in 861/1185 patients (73%). VCUG revealed abnormal findings in 285/861 (33%), of which grade III–V vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) comprised 97 cases (11%). During follow-up, VUR had resolved in 88/97 (91%) patients: in 50/57 (88%) patients without active treatment for VUR, in 27/29 (93%) with endoscopic and in 11/11 (100%) with open surgery for VUR. During follow-up, 11/97 patients (11%) had developed new renal scarring detectable in US, but no renal impairment occurred. Except for VUR, VCUG showed nonobstructive urethral valves in two infant boys with normal initial US. Thus, in 861 children with normal initial US, 40 patients with grade III–V VUR and two patients with significant nonreflux pathology may have benefited from surgical treatment, giving the total number of possibly missed pathological finding in 42/861 (4.9%) cases if VCUG had not been performed.

Conclusion:  We suggest that children with UTI could be examined using US alone and to use VCUG only after additional indications.