Tips for Health

Urinary Reflux in Children

By on April 17, 2012 in Diseases, Health, Prevention with 0 Comments

What is vesicoureteral reflux?

When urine from the bladder flows back into the kidneys, this is called reflux. Urine normally flows in one direction. When urine flows backward from the bladder to the kidneys, germs can get into the kidneys. This can lead to urinary tract infection. If reflux is not noticed, repeated infections can lead to scarring in the kidneys. Reflux occurs in about one third of children with urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Does a UTI mean there is something wrong with my child’s urinary tract?

Most children with a UTI have a normal urinary tract. Just as some children get ear infections even though their ears are normal, some children get UTIs even though they have a normal urinary tract. However, some children with UTIs may have something wrong with your urinary tract. Your doctor may order special tests to find. This is more likely if your child is very young at the time that has its first infection, or if he or she has had repeated infections

What kind of tests will the doctor perform?

There are several tests that look at the urinary tract. An ultrasound of the kidneys and the bladder is a painless test that lets your doctor see well into the kidneys and bladder.

A bladder x-ray called a voiding cystourethrogram is a good way to see the bladder. A small tube is placed in your child’s bladder. Liquid is passed through the tube into the bladder. This liquid appears on the radiograph. X-rays are taken as the bladder fills and while your child urinates. This study provides good images of the bladder and urethra. This is used to see if your child has reflux.

Another test that is sometimes used in children with UTI is a kidney ultrasound. For this test, place a small amount of radioactive medicine into the bloodstream of your child through an IV. With a special camera acquired images of the kidneys.This test is very useful for finding scarring in the kidneys. It is used most often in children known to have reflux.

A pyelogram (or pyelogram) IV is another test that can be used to view the kidneys and urinary tract. This is not like a kidney ultrasound.

Which of these tests is ordered for your child depends on the child’s age, gender, how many infections he or she has had and how severe they were.

How is urinary reflux treated?

The reflux tends to disappear on their own. Therefore, most children with reflux do not need treatment other than seeing their doctor regularly. However, some children with reflux need to take an antibiotic every day to prevent UTIs. Some medications are often used nitrofurantoin (brand name: Furadantin) and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (brand names: Bactrim and Septra).

Do children who have urinary reflux require surgery?

Most children with urinary reflux do not need surgery. A few children who continue to get UTIs while taking antibiotics and develop new scarring of the kidneys or who have severe reflux, or who can not take antibiotics may need surgery. If your child needs surgery, your doctor will talk to you about the options.


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