KIDNEY INFECTION, CHRONIC (Chronic Pyelonephritis)
KIDNEY INFECTION, CHRONIC
DESCRIPTIONChronic kidney infection develops slowly and lasts for months or years. It leads to scarring and eventual loss of kidney function. The kidneys and other parts of the urinary system (ureter, bladder, and urethra) are involved. Chronic kidney infection can affect both sexes, all ages, but is more common in females.
Appropriate health care includes:
Self-care after diagnosis.
Physician's monitoring of general condition and medications.
Surgery to relieve obstruction in the urinary tract, if one exists.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSAnemia.
Loss of appetite.
Pain in one or both sides of the lower back.
Protein and blood in the urine.
Usually no signs or symptoms, unlike acute kidney infection. The following occur if chronic kidney failure develops:
Frequent, acute bacterial kidney infections.
RISK FACTORSHistory of diabetes mellitus.
Urinary obstruction, such as stones or tumors.
Long-term use of catheters.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCE
Obtain prompt medical treatment for acute kidney infections, including 2 or more weeks of antibiotic treatment. Don't let your child 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.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
Laboratory blood studies of kidney function, urinalysis and urine culture (See Glossary).
X-rays of kidneys.
Special studies that may include ultrasonography, CAT or CT scan; MRI, and radionuclide scan (See Glossary for all).
Chronic kidney failure.
PROBABLE OUTCOMEIf only one kidney is chronically infected and antibiotic treatment is unsuccessful, surgical removal of the affected kidney may prevent complications.
If chronic kidney failure develops in both kidneys, a kidney transplant or kidney dialysis (See Glossary) can be life-saving.
Symptoms can be controlled with treatment:
HOME CAREFollow your child's treatment plan carefully. This may not be easy for an illness that causes few symptoms in the early stages.
MEDICATIONAntibiotics for months or years.
Drugs to keep the child's urine slightly acid.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
Your doctor may prescribe:
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet. Urge your child to drink 2 quarts of liquid daily; include cranberry juice to acidify the urine.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?When signs of infection have decreased, appetite returns, and alertness, strength, and feeling of well-being will allow.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has symptoms of chronic kidney failure.
Your child has symptoms of an acute kidney infection, such as urgent, frequent or burning urination, fever and chills, fatigue, and cloudy urine.