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J Urol. 2001 Jul;166(1):240-3.

Parental preferences in the management of vesicoureteral reflux.

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Department of Pediatric Urology, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, D. C., USA.



We determined parental preferences for the treatment of vesicoureteral reflux in their child.


Parents of children with vesicoureteral reflux were prospectively recruited to evaluate choices in reflux management. In each case a standard questionnaire that described the treatment options for reflux was administered. Parents were asked to choose between long-term antibacterial prophylaxis with annual radiography studies and open or endoscopic treatment at each of 1 to 5 years of followup. They were also given the choice between open or endoscopic treatment. Annual resolution and/or correction rates provided for medical, surgical and endoscopic management were 20%, 95% to 100% and 80% after 1 or 2 injections, respectively.


We queried 91 families of female (81%) and male (19%) patients. Average duration of reflux followup was 2 years and mean patient age was 49.8 months. At diagnosis reflux was grades I to II in 65% of cases, grade III in 26% and grades IV to V in 9%. The majority of parents chose daily antibiotics over surgery if the child was predicted to have vesicoureteral reflux for 1 to 4 years. However, the majority chose ureteral reimplantation over daily antibiotics and yearly x-ray if a 5-year course was predicted. In contrast, parents chose daily antibiotics rather than endoscopic treatment if the anticipated interval was 1 to 3 years. After 3 years the majority preferred the endoscopic approach. Also, 60% of parents stated that they would choose endoscopic treatment over reimplantation, although the child may require repeat endoscopic treatment and there was a 20% chance of persistent vesicoureteral reflux.


Parents of children with vesicoureteral reflux prefer antibiotic prophylaxis as initial treatment. However, when daily antibiotics and yearly cystography may be required beyond 3 to 4 years, most parents would choose definitive correction. While endoscopic treatment is less effective than surgery, parents prefer endoscopic treatment, most likely because it is less invasive. Also, when compared directly against each other, the majority of parents stated that they would choose endoscopic treatment over surgery, although it has a lower success rate.

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