Read about urinary reflux in children and its cure and tests for urinary reflux in kids.
Urinary Reflux in Children
Urinary reflux means urine from the bladder flows back up into the kidneys and thus, germs get a way to reach kidneys and cause Urinary Tract Infections (UTI). Repeated infections may lead to scarring of the kidneys. Reflux may happen in about one-third of the children and does not necessarily mean the child does not have a normal urinary tract. However, if a child is very young at the time of first infection or has repeated UTI then he or she may have something wrong with his or her urinary tract. To determine whether the urinary tract is normal or not, doctors have to conduct several special tests, such as:
- An ultrasound of the kidneys and bladder, which is quite painless.
- Kidney scan may also be performed on some children with infections and already diagnosed with reflux. A small amount of radioactive medicine is put into child's blood stream using an IV line and then a special camera is used to take the pictures of the kidneys. It is best to find scarring in the kidneys.
- Similar to kidney scan, Intravenous Pyelogram is performed to look at the kidneys and urinary tract.
- Voiding Cystourethrogram (VCUG) or Bladder X-ray, in which a small tube is put into the child’s bladder and a liquid is passed through it that shows up on x-ray. X-rays show how the bladder and urethra functions as it fills and while the child urinates to determine whether the child has reflux.
The type of tests conducted on the child depends on his or her age, gender, number and severity of infections. Most of the time, reflux disappears automatically and only regular checkup by the doctor suffices sometimes, children may need to use prescribed antibiotics every day to prevent infections. Only children who continue to get infected even after taking antibiotics, develop new scarring of the kidney and suffer from serious reflux or who can't take antibiotics may need surgery.