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J Pediatr. 2004 May;144(5):677-81.

Severe vesicoureteral reflux and chronic renal failure: a condition peculiar to male gender? Data from the ItalKid Project.

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Unit of Pediatric Nephrology, Dialysis and Transplantation, Department of Pediatrics, ICP and Epidemiology Unit, IRCCS Ospedale Maggiore, Milan, Italy.


Primary vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), one of the principal causes of chronic renal failure (CRF), occurs as a result of two distinct and sex-related mechanisms: congenital renal hypoplasia, which is prevalent in males, and acquired renal scarring in females. We used data from the ItalKid Project, a prospective population-based CRF registry of patients undergoing conservative treatment, to evaluate the gender distribution and severity of primary VUR, the age at diagnosis, and the diagnostic and therapeutic methods adopted in children with CRF. The prevalence of males (77.5%), the severity of VUR (grade IV-V), and the early age at diagnosis (18% prenatally) seem to suggest that congenital renal damage is the major cause of pediatric CRF.

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