Urinary Tract Infection

  • Ziad M. Shehab


Urinary tract infection (UTI), a common infection in children, is characterized by the presence of significant numbers of bacteria in the urine. In the study of Kunin, the cumulative incidence of infection in school girls followed over a 10-year span was 5% (1). In addition, 10 to 20% of affected children developed pyelonephritic scars even after the first uncomplicated UTI, and 20 to 35% had radiographic evidence of vesicoureteral reflux (2). Accurate identification of the child with UTI is of paramount importance in order to reduce the morbidity and sequelae associated with these infections. Confirmation of the diagnosis will dictate therapy and further workup of the child with UTI. To be effective, the method used for diagnosis should be sensitive and specific, since over-diagnosis of UTI may lead to missing the basic disease responsible for the urinary symptoms, in addition to the cost, invasiveness and radiation exposure resulting from the diagnostic studies. Furthermore, this may lead to unnecessary therapy. On the other hand, underdiagnosis of UTI will lead to persistence of annoying symptoms and, more importantly, to progression of renal scarring and loos of renal function.


Urinary Tract Infection Urine Culture Urine Specimen Colony Count Renal Scarring 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1990

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  • Ziad M. Shehab

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