Comparison of ultrasound and dimercaptosuccinic acid scintigraphy changes in acute pyelonephritis
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The strategy for morphological investigations in children with acute pyelonephritis (APN) remains debatable. We studied 70 children (median age 2.0 years) admitted with a first episode of pyelonephritis using a high-resolution ultrasound technique (RUS) and compared the results with 99m technetium–dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) renal scintigraphy. The DMSA scan was abnormal in 62 children (89%). However, using a high-frequency transducer we found abnormal sonogram changes in 61 children (87%), consisting of an increased kidney volume in 42, and/or a thickening of the wall of the renal pelvis in 42, and/or a focal hyper- or hypoechogenicity in 36, and/or a diffuse hyperechogenicity in 31 children. Micturating cystourethrography was performed in all children, revealing vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) in 22 (31%). Among those children with VUR, 4 had a normal DMSA scan, 2 an abnormal RUS, and 2 a normal DMSA scan and RUS. Our data suggest that B-mode RUS performed with a high-frequency transducer by a trained radiologist is nearly as sensitive as the DMSA scan in diagnosing renal involvement in children with unobstructed APN and in predicting VUR.
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