Clinical Course of Children and Adolescents with Primary Vesicoureteral Reflux: A retrospective study of 958 patients

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Introduction. Vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) is the most common pediatric urologic abnormality and since it can predispose to urinary tract infection and resultant kidney scar it is an important issue in pediatric nephrourology. Methods. A retrospective chart review and follow-up of 958 patients with primary VUR was performed in the Children’s Medical Center, Tehran, Iran. Children with primary vesicoureteral reflux were included in the study and these parameters were studied: age, sex, clinical presentation, VUR grade, sonographic findings, DMSA changes, treatment modality (medical, surgical or endoscopic) and response to treatment, hypertension (presence/absence), urinary tract infection recurrence and development of new kidney scars in patients under medical treatment. Results. VUR was more prevalent in girls. Sonography was unable to detect VUR in many cases. Presence of renal scars was strongly associated with degree of reflux. Medical management was effective in a substantial percentage of patients and they experienced full resolution of reflux. This was especially true for lower degrees of VUR. 17.6% of patients developed new kidney scars on followup which was associated with higher degrees of VUR. Hypertension and breakthrough urinary tract infection was an uncommon finding in our patients. Conclusion. Medical management, which means using prophylactic antibiotics for prevention of urinary tract infection, is effective in many cases of VUR especially in cases with lower degrees of VUR. Surgical and endoscopic procedures must be reserved for patients with higher degrees of VUR unresponsive to conservative management or in whom new scars may develop.

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