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Acute uncomplicated cystitis and pyelonephritis in women

Thomas M Hooton, MD
Kalpana Gupta, MD, MPH
Section Editor
Stephen B Calderwood, MD
Deputy Editor
Allyson Bloom, MD


Acute cystitis refers to infection of the bladder (lower urinary tract); it can occur alone or in conjunction with pyelonephritis (infection of the kidney – the upper urinary tract) [1].

Most episodes of cystitis and pyelonephritis are generally considered to be uncomplicated in otherwise healthy nonpregnant adult women. A complicated urinary tract infection, whether localized to the lower or upper tract, is associated with an underlying condition that increases the risk of infection or of failing therapy (such as obstruction, anatomic abnormality, urologic dysfunction, or a multiply-resistant uropathogen).

Issues related to acute uncomplicated cystitis and pyelonephritis in women will be reviewed here. Issues related to urinary tract infections in men and acute complicated urinary tract infections are discussed separately. (See "Acute complicated cystitis and pyelonephritis" and "Acute uncomplicated cystitis and pyelonephritis in men".)


An uncomplicated urinary tract infection, whether localized to the lower or upper tract, is one in a patient without an underlying condition that increases the risk of failing therapy. Such conditions include:

Poorly controlled diabetes mellitus

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Nov 21, 2016.
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