Screening high-grade vesicoureteral reflux in young infants with a febrile urinary tract infection
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The lack of good evidence for improved outcomes in children and young infants with febrile urinary tract infection (UTI) after aggressive treatment for vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) has raised doubts regarding the need for routine voiding cystourethrography (VCUG), and the appropriate imaging evaluation in these children remains controversial.
This prospective study aimed to determine whether abnormalities found on acute dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) scan and ultrasound (US) can help indicate the necessity of voiding cystourethrography (VCUG) in young infants.
For 3.5 years, all infants younger than 3 months presenting with first febrile UTI were prospectively studied. All infants were hospitalized and investigated using US (<3 days after admission), DMSA scan (<5 days after admission), and VCUG (7–10 days after antibiotic treatment) after diagnosis. The association among findings of US, DMSA scan, and VCUG were evaluated.
From 220 infants, there were abnormal results in 136 (61.8%) US and in 111 (50.5%) DMSA scans. By US, ten infants (4.5%) with abscess or structural abnormalities other than VUR were diagnosed. High-grade (III–V) VUR was present in 39 patients (17.7%). The sensitivities for high-grade VUR of renal US alone (76.9%) or DMSA scan alone (82.1%) were not as good as that of the “OR rule” strategy, which had 92.3% sensitivity and 94.3% negative predictive value.
To screen high-grade VUR in young infants with febrile UTI, US and acute DMSA scan could be performed first. VCUG is only indicated when abnormalities are apparent on either US or DMSA scan or both.
KeywordsDimercaptosuccinic acid Ultrasound Urinary tract infections Vesicoureteral reflux Infant
Conflict of interest
None of the authors have any conflict of interest related to the investigation.
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