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Renal Ultrasound Useful After Pediatric Urinary Infection

Imaging can reveal abnormal kidney size and other findings that require further investigation

WEDNESDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) -- In children under age 5 with a first febrile urinary tract infection, renal ultrasonography should be routinely performed, according to research published in the March issue of Urology.

Yong-Kwei Tsau, M.D., of National Taiwan University Hospital in Taipei, and colleagues analyzed imaging results from renal ultrasound, computed tomography and voiding cystourethrography conducted in 390 pediatric patients.

The researchers found that 112 (28.7 percent) of the subjects had abnormal renal ultrasound findings. Compared to children with normal renal ultrasound findings, those with abnormal renal ultrasound findings of nephromegaly, small kidney, intermittent hydronephrosis or a double collecting system were significantly more likely to have higher incidences of vesicoureteral reflux, including high-grade vesicoureteral reflux, they report.

"Abnormal renal ultrasound findings, especially specific hydronephrosis and abnormal kidney size, are worth the extra time to disclose them, because they indicate a greater probability of vesicoureteral reflux, and even high-grade vesicoureteral reflux," the authors conclude. "Under these conditions, health care providers and families will have better information to determine whether voiding cystourethrography is needed, because it is still an invasive study resulting in radiation exposure."

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