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Urinary tract infections in infants older than one month and young children: Acute management, imaging, and prognosis

Nader Shaikh, MD
Alejandro Hoberman, MD
Section Editors
Morven S Edwards, MD
Tej K Mattoo, MD, DCH, FRCP
Deputy Editor
Mary M Torchia, MD


Urinary tract infections (UTI) are a common and important clinical problem in childhood. Upper urinary tract infections (ie, acute pyelonephritis) may lead to renal scarring, hypertension, and end-stage renal dysfunction. Although children with pyelonephritis tend to present with fever, it can be difficult on clinical grounds to distinguish cystitis from pyelonephritis, particularly in young children (those younger than two years) [1]. Thus, we have defined UTI broadly here without attempting to distinguish cystitis from pyelonephritis. Acute cystitis in older children is discussed separately. (See "Acute cystitis: Clinical features and diagnosis in children older than two years and adolescents".)

The acute management and prognosis of UTI in children will be reviewed here. The epidemiology, risk factors, clinical features, diagnosis, long-term management, and prevention of UTI in children and UTI in newborns are discussed separately. (See "Urinary tract infections in children: Epidemiology and risk factors" and "Urinary tract infections in infants and children older than one month: Clinical features and diagnosis" and "Urinary tract infections in children: Long-term management and prevention" and "Urinary tract infections in neonates".)


Goals — The goals of treatment for UTI include [2,3]:

Elimination of infection and prevention of urosepsis

Relief of acute symptoms (eg, fever, dysuria, frequency)

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Literature review current through: Dec 2017. | This topic last updated: Nov 17, 2017.
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