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Adv Urol. 2011;2011:397618. doi: 10.1155/2011/397618. Epub 2011 Jan 17.

Procalcitonin: a key marker in children with urinary tract infection.

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Centre for Statistics in Medicine, Wolfson College Annexe, University of Oxford, Linton Road, Oxford OX2 6UD, UK.


Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the most common source of bacterial infections among young febrile children. Accurate diagnosis of acute pyelonephritis (APN) and vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) is important because of their association with renal scarring, leading in the cases to long-term complications. However, the gold standard examinations for both are either DMSA scan (for APN and scar) or cystography (for VUR) and present limitations (feasibility, pain, cost, etc.). Procalcitonin, a reliable marker of bacterial infections, was demonstrated to be a good predictor of both renal parenchymal involvement in the acute phase and late renal scars. Furthermore, it was also found to be associated with high-grade VUR and was the key tool of a clinical decision rule to predict high-grade VUR in children with a first UTI. Therefore, procalcitonin may certainly be found playing a role in the complex and still debated picture of which examination should be performed after UTI in children.

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