General Illness Information
Kidney Infection, Chronic (Pyelonephritis, Chronic)
Common Name: None Specified
Description: Chronic infection of the kidneys, resulting from anatomic abnormalities of the kidneys or the urinary system.
Causes: Chronic pyelonephritis occurs only in patients with major anatomic abnormalities, such as obstructive uropathy, kidney stones, or, most commonly, reflux of urine at the junction of the bladder and ureter.
- Obtain prompt medical treatment for acute kidney infections, including 2 or more weeks of antibiotic treatment.
- Don’t discontinue prescribed medication even if symptoms disappear after a few days of treatment.
- Obtain treatment for any abnormality of the urinary tract that causes infection.
Signs & Symptoms
- Usually no signs or symptoms, unlike acute kidney infections
- Symptoms and signs (e. g., fever, flank or abdominal pain) are often vague and inconsistent
- History of diabetes mellitus.
- Vesico-ureteral reflux, in children.
- Urinary obstruction, such as stones or tumors.
Diagnosis & Treatment
For diagnosis, urinalysis and urine culture; cytoscopy (visual examination of the inside of the urinary bladder by means of a cystoscope, a slender optical instrument with a lighted tip); ultrasound; intravenous pyelogram (IVP). Other special tests may be recommended.
- Follow your treatment plan carefully. This may not be easy for an illness that causes few symptoms in the early stages.
- Surgery to relieve obstruction or malformation in the urinary tract, if one exists.
Antibiotics for months or years – if ongoing infection is present.
- Untreated, chronic pyelonephritis can lead to renal failure.
- Prognosis depends on the state of the kidneys at diagnosis.
- Early infections, malformations and abnormalities if treated in time will result in excellent prognosis.