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Pediatr Nephrol. 2019 Mar 7. doi: 10.1007/s00467-018-4187-9. [Epub ahead of print]

The pathogenesis and management of renal scarring in children with vesicoureteric reflux and pyelonephritis.

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McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Canada.
Montreal Childrens Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Bacterial urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common reasons for children to be admitted to hospital. Bacteria infect and invade the bladder (the lower urinary tract) and if the infection disseminates to the upper urinary tract, significant inflammation in the kidneys may arise. Inflammation is a double-edged sword: it is needed to clear bacteria, but if excessive, kidney tissue is injured. During injury, nephrons are destroyed and replaced with deposition of extracellular matrix and a renal scar. In this review, we explore the pathogenesis of UTIs and discuss the risk factors that result in dissemination of bladder infection to the kidneys. Three major risk factors predispose to kidney infections: the presence of vesicoureteric reflux, the presence of bladder and bowel dysfunction, and defects in the ability of the host immune response to clear bacteria. In this review, we will discuss these factors, their relationship to renal scarring, and potential treatments that might be beneficial to prevent renal scar formation in children.


Children; Fever; Inflammation; UTI; VUR


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