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Pediatrics. 2009 Jul;124(1):23-9. doi: 10.1542/peds.2008-1192.

Age-related renal parenchymal lesions in children with first febrile urinary tract infections.

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Department of Pediatrics, DPMSC, University of Udine, School of Medicine, Udine, Italy.



The aim of this study was to define the association between age and the occurrence of acute pyelonephritis and renal scars.


Between 1999 and 2002, all children 0 to 14 years of age consecutively seen with a first febrile urinary tract infection were enrolled in the study. (99m)Tc-Dimercaptosuccinic acid renal scintigraphy was performed within 5 days after admission for the detection of renal parenchymal involvement. The presence of vesicoureteral reflux was assessed by using cystography performed 1 month after the infection. If the acute scan results were abnormal, then follow-up (99m)Tc-dimercaptosuccinic acid scanning was performed after 6 months, to assess the frequency of scars.


A total of 316 children were enrolled in the study (190 children <1 year, 99 children 1-4 years, and 27 children 5-14 years of age). (99m)Tc-Dimercaptosuccinic acid scintigraphy revealed that 59% of the children had renal involvement in the acute phase of infection. The frequency of kidney involvement in infants <1 year of age (49%) was significantly lower than that in children 1 to 4 years of age (73%) and >5 years of age (81%). Of the 187 children with positive acute (99m)Tc-dimercaptosuccinic acid scan results, 123 underwent repeat scintigraphy after 6 months. Renal scars were found for 28% of children <1 year, 37% of children 1 to 4 years, and 53% of children 5 to 14 years of age. No significant differences in the frequency of scars and the presence or absence of vesicoureteral reflux were noted.


Our findings confirm that acute pyelonephritis and subsequent renal scarring occur only in some children with first febrile urinary tract infections. Children <1 year of age with febrile urinary tract infections have a lower risk of parenchymal localization of infection and renal scarring.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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