Diagnosis and management of pediatric urinary tract infections

Author(s): Zorc JJ, Kiddoo DA, Shaw KN

Abstract

Urinary tract infection (UTI) is among the most commonly diagnosed bacterial infections of childhood. Although frequently encountered and well researched, diagnosis and management of UTI continue to be a controversial issue with many challenges for the clinician. Prevalence studies have shown that UTI may often be missed on history and physical examination, and the decision to screen for UTI must balance the risk for missed infections with the cost and inconvenience of testing. Interpretation of rapid diagnostic tests and culture is complicated by issues of contamination, false test results, and asymptomatic colonization of the urinary tract with nonpathogenic bacteria. The appropriate treatment of UTI has been controversial and has become more complex with the emergence of resistance to commonly used antibiotics. Finally, the anatomic evaluation and long-term management of a child after a UTI have been based on limited evidence, and newer studies question some of the tenets of prior recommendations. The goal of this review is to provide an up-to-date summary of the literature with particular attention to practical questions about diagnosis and management for the clinician.

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